Dar-al-Hajar, Rock House of Imam, Yemen

On a huge boulder, sits a home, five stories high !!! Surely an architectural masterpiece. It has been turned into a museum after the assassination of the  Imam, who had built it in the 1930s. He was Yahya Muhammad Hamiddin (1869-1948) , who became Imam of the Zaydis (an Islamic sect)  in 1904, then Imam of Yemen in 1918 until his assassination in 1948. The palace was built  as his summer residence. It has an ideal location, as it overlooks a Wadi or green valley of sorts. The ventilation is superb, each room has windows or vents for the breeze to flow through, The thick stone walls protect it from the heat.  It has the typical captivating Yemeni architecture of pressed red earth lined with white gypsum. There are storage areas, sitting rooms for guests, bedrooms, kitchens, and a special room in which the Imam would stay with the wife selected for that day.DSC_0325

The car park at the base of the palace :

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Beautiful flowers greet you before you enter…..

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The climb to the stairs which lead to the Palace : scenic….

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Yes….the ultimate treasure…a source of water :

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Water……

 

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Beneath the rock..one can not see the top of the palace from here…a strategic advantage

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Getting in….

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Guards were stationed here, as well as at the top of the palace…

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Stained glass windows….intricate carving…

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The terrace….

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The sitting room..

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The kitchen…

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Thick walls…

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Within the rock…

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The stained glass windows filter the sun’s rays, making them magical and colourful. There is greenery at the base of the palace, and the earth is moist and fertile. There is the view of the Wadi from it, which adds to the majestic beauty of the palace. It is an out-of-the-world home, a sight which makes you gasp when you first lay eyes upon it. If you do get a chance to go there, you must grab the opportunity…..


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