Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#820 Dar al-Hajar (Imam's Rock Palace), Yemen

On the outskirts of Sana'a (#985) is one of the most iconic symbols of Yemen. With it's typical icing-style decorations, it is a beautiful building in itself. However, it's amazing because it is perched atop a high rock and the rooms and floors tumble down in layers to reach the rock's base.
When Yemen was ruled by Imams rather than presidents, Imam Yahya Muhammad Hamiddin (1869-1948) built this mansion as his summer residence in the 1930s apparently on top of prehistoric ruins already on top of the rock. It is only five-stories, surprisingly, and the museum includes many sets of stairs, the kitchen, storage rooms, women's rooms, meeting rooms and a sophisticated system of cooling water in earthware jars. a deep well and various balconies.

However, others claim that Dar al-Hajar was built in the 18th century by scholar/poet/scientist/intellectual Ali bin Saleh Al-Amari (1736-1798) while he was minister to Imam Al-Mahdi Abbas. 

This is such a beautiful place -- peaceful and magical.

Men dance a typical Yemeni performance.
One beautiful form of art in Yemen is their traditional takhrim stained glass windows, which are made with plaster  and each individual cut-to-fit colored glass. The windows are made separately and then put into the wall as a complete piece.
View down Wadi Dhahr.

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