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around Sana’a

Thula

The old part of the small town of Thula is still surrounded by the completely preserved wall made up of rubble. In an adventurous manner, the houses seem to grow out of the rock face, and small alleys wind around the towering houses of up to six storeys in height. The richly decorated facades of the town situated at the foot of the Kaukaban plateau, display wealth based on trading and agriculture. One of Thula’s attractions is its children, who with their charm and overpowering fluency of speech, offer visitors an array of souvenirs for purchase. A conspicuous, characteristically formed rock pinnacle also dominates the location.

Kawkaban/Shibam

At the foot of a steep sloping reddish-yellow sandstone cliff is the town of Shibam . This is the location of one of the oldest mosques in Yemen . Each week, one of the regions largest weekly markets takes place here, whereby most of the products are agricultural. In the 350-metre higher-up twin town of Kawkaban , pillar remains, frieze, and stones with script in the modern houses, point to the glamorous Sabaian and Himyarite past. Alone the location of the town is impressive. Impregnable, and situated on the steep slopes of the plateau, Kawkaban served as a former haven for the residents of lower fruitful levels. Kawkaban was a safe stronghold due to being surrounded by a high wall and being accessible through only one solid door. Up to a few years ago, no roads at all led to this location, one was only able to travel there by either walking or riding on a donkey. One of these old pathways still connects Kawkaban to Shibam, and the well-developed stairway offers a splendid view of the area whilst making the one-hour walking-tour.




Kawkaban




Thula




Thula




Thula