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Sana'a (صنعاء), Yemen

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Sana'a (Arabic: صنعاء) is the capital and biggest city in Yemen. With a history stretching back thousands of years, it is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Modern-day Sana'a has a population of 1.75 million people (2012 estimate), within a metropolitan area of 2.12 million.

According to legend, Sana'a was founded by one of the sons of Noah, Shem. This makes it one of the oldest populated places on earth. Its location at the crossroad of major ancient trade routes helped it develop as an urban center for the surrounding region during ancient times.

After Islam swept through the Arabian peninsula, Sana'a was ruled by various Muslim dynasties including the Sulayhid in the 11th century and the Ayyubids in the 12th century. The Ottoman emperor Suleiman the Magnificent conquered Sana'a in 1547. At the turn of the 20th century, with the influence of the Ottoman empire waning, Imam Yahya seized control on Sana'a, and embarked on a policy of isolation, bringing a period of stagnation to the country.

Sana'a lost its position as capital under the rule of Yahya's son, Imam Ahmad, who relocated the capital to Ta'izz, to be near his new residence. He ruled until 1962. A week after his death, the army staged a coup overthrowing the Imamate government, and restoring Sana'a as capital.

The North Yemen Civil War broke out, lasting until 1968. During that period, many of Sana'a's ancient heritage sites were destroyed. Nevertheless, visitors to Sana'a today will be delighted by the unique architecture, particularly within the Old City, which is today a World Heritage Site.

Visiting Sana'a

Sana'a is one of the cities affected by the Arab Spring uprising. As such travel there is strongly discouraged dur to the civil unrest that may compromise your security. Check the latest travel advice before considering a trip there.

Sana'a International Airport receives flights from major cities in the Middle East as well as from Franfurt and London.

Places of Interest in Sana'a

  1. Al Saleh Mosque
  2. Bab al-Yemen
  3. Great Mosque of Sana'a
  4. Military Museum of Yemen
  5. National Museum of Yemen
  6. Tahreer Square
  7. Thilaa
  8. Wadi Dhahr

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