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Review of Dar al-Hajar

Dar al-Hajar
Ranked #2 of 9 things to do in Sanaa
Attraction details
Reviewed 30 July 2013

A very interesting and well thought piece of architectural history. it is very well kept and secured, entrance fees are very cheap. It will give you an insight into how Yemeni royalty used to live, there are many hidden passages and rooms to be discovered.
You will need a good pair of legs because of the many steep stairs :)

Thank M_Bajaber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 July 2013

The county's architectural history is strongly tied both to its traditions and locally available contruction materials. The capital,Sana'a has been around since at least the 2nd century AD and the story goes, that it was founded by Noah's son "Shem" to keep control of the passage of caravans loaded with frankincense coming from Hadhramawt.

2  Thank fouadsheyf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2013

Dar Al Hajar is situated in Wadi Dhar outside the city of Sanaa, in about 12-15km from it. I believe this palace, often referred to as the symbol of Yemen, is a must-see once you are in Sanaa.

Scenic location is one of the most remarkable features of this famous attraction. Don’t be in a rush to approach it - there are few observation spots on your way (local drivers are aware of them) from which you can see this impressive palace in the distance and take nice photos.

The present looks of the palace built as the summer residence of Imam Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din, the ruler of the Northern Yemen assassinated in 1948, is relatively modern. It was expanded in 1930s in the course of reconstruction of the palace previously built in 1786. But the earliest castle in Wadi Dhar is dated by some researchers to pre-Islamic period.

The architectural style of Dar Al Hajar is similar to the one of the Old Sanaa houses - burnt brick towers decorated with traditional Yemeni ornaments of white gypsum rise several floors up from the single rock foundation. Make sure to walk around the rock and you'll be surprised seeing how the palace shape changes from various angles. The entire complex also embraces hammams (baths), an ancient well, and utility premises.

Today Imam’s Palace is a museum, open to general public for a symbolic fee. Wandering around its endless rooms, stairs, exits and terraces you can get an idea of the everyday life of Imam and his family here. The palace is large, and visiting all of its parts can be a challenge to people with limited mobility.

Apart from living rooms for male and female family members, you will find a treasury, a kitchen, a fridge, Imam’s meditation room and many other premises. If you are interested in more than just casting a glimpse over the place, I recommend hiring a guide who would explain the assignment of each room and reveal small secrets of the palace - like the doors that could capture an invader, or a cave for little boys who served as guards. Otherwise there are English signs inside the palace.

Nearly each room let alone the terraces at various floors offer stunning views all over the area!

If you are flexible with sightseeing time and don’t mind the crowds, try to get to Dar Al Hajar on Friday. This is the best time for people-watching, because many locals arrive here together with their large families. Also, you can catch local weddings, or watch the jambiyah dancers at the foot of the rock, or observe qat gatherers at the plantations surrounding the palace. In any case, the finest experience is guaranteed!

6  Thank Cora_v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2013

this was the imams palace a great building standing on a giant rock , the outside is great but the inside shows you more about yemeni houses and their decor from inside .

1  Thank ghassan y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 May 2013

If you're in Sana'a of vicinity, Wadi Dhahr is definitely one of the places to visit! It's worth to apay the entrance fee and go all the way up on the roof, to see the view and also to go through the maze of rooms, staircases, coridors and small opening.

Thank DarjaSeme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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