Picture of the Day: The Old City of Sana’a at Night
THE OLD CITY OF SANA’A AT NIGHT
Sana’a, also spelled “Sanaa”, is the capital of Yemen and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. At an altitude of 2,300 metres (7,500 ft), it is also one of the highest capital cities in the world. Sana’a has a population of approximately 1,748,000 (2010) making it Yemen’s largest city. The old city of Sana’a, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a distinctive visual character due its unique architectural characteristics, most notably expressed in its multi-story buildings decorated with geometric patterns.
The old fortified city has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years and contains a wealth of intact architectural gems. It was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1986. Efforts are underway to preserve some of the oldest buildings. Buildings such as the Samsarh and the Great Mosque of Sana’a, are more than 1400 years old. Surrounded by ancient clay walls which stand 9–14 metres (30–46 ft) high, the old city contains more than 100 mosques, 12 hammams (baths) and 6,500 houses. Many of the houses resemble ancient skyscrapers, reaching several stories high and topped with flat roofs. They are decorated with elaborate friezes and intricately carved frames and stained-glass windows. [Source]