Website Category: Ancient Ethiopia
Area: 0.5 km2
Criteria: (ii) interchange of values (iii) cultural tradition (iv) icon of an era (v) interaction with the environment
Location and Values: The fortified historic town of Harar is situated on a low plateau on the eastern flank of the Great Rift Valley, about 50 km south-east of Dire Dawe. It is a walled Muslim city, said to be the fourth holiest city of Islam, with 82 mosques and 102 shrines dating back as far as the 10th century. The city walls were completed in the 16th century, and it served as capital of the Harari Kingdom from 1520 to 1568, becoming an independent emirate in the 17th century.
Today, the town is particularly noted for the architecture of its townhouses, packed within the city walls with 368 narrow alleyways providing access. Its urban fabric combines traditional African and Islamic elements in a unique way, with the infusion of Indian immigrants at the end of the 19th century adding a further dimension to the architectural character of the town.
Slideshow of the Fortified Historic Town Of Harar Jugol: The slideshow presents a short series of pictures of Harar provided by John Mason. They show the narrow alleyways, city walls, and bustling markets of the old town, as well as a particularly fine example of an (Indian-style) townhouse, and the extraordinary night-time ritual of men feeding wild hyenas at a shrine outside the city walls.
Slideshow of the Fortified Historic Town Of Harar Jugol:
Google Earth View: To view satellite imagery of Harar on Google Earth, click here. This opens a new window, so when you are finished, just close the Google Earth page and you will be straight back here to continue browsing.
Other Links: Official UNESCO Site Details