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“A wonder land”
Review of Dar al-Hajar

Dar al-Hajar
Ranked #2 of 9 things to do in Sanaa
Attraction details
Doha, Qatar
Level 6 Contributor
329 reviews
191 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 230 helpful votes
“A wonder land”
Reviewed 8 July 2014

For two hours you will keep wondering how it was built hundreds of years ago it must have been a miracle at that time.
Built in astandred desgined to impress visitors and insure luxourious life for residents

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Shaltoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Rock Palace is great”
Reviewed 18 January 2014

Visit this impressive site just on the outskirts of Sanaa - not far from the airport. It's a wonderful experience to see this old Yemeni palace and understand more about the local life and culture.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank citisurfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mombasa, Kenya
Level 6 Contributor
78 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
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 :)

Visited June 2013
Thank M_Bajaber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanaa, Yemen
Level 3 Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wadi Dhahr”
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.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank fouadsheyf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
325 reviews
135 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,039 helpful votes
“Not to be missed!”
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!

Visited March 2013
6 Thank Cora_v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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