HomeAsiaDar al-Hajar – Yemen’s Spectacular Royal Architecture
Dar al-Hajar – Yemen’s Spectacular Royal Architecture
Yemen’s Dar al-Hajar, or ‘stone house’, is a rock column behold one of the world’s most spectacular constructions. The former royal residence grows out of the rock pinnacle upon which it’s perched. The Dar al-Hajar, or “Rock Palace,” is located in Wadi Dhar, around 15 km (9 miles) from the capital city of Sana, Yemen. It seems to grow out of the rocks on which it is constructed, and it has the characteristic painting of its windows and edges. Yemen’s Dar al-Hajar palace, built atop a tall natural rock spire, is nevertheless fantastical.
The five-storey building looks incredible from every angle. So, it won’t be surprising to see Dar al-Hajar on a Yemeni currency note (the 500 rials one). In the 1920s, an Islamic spiritual leader named Yahya Muhammad Hamiddin (ruler of Yemen from 1904 to 1948) stayed here as a summer residence. This place didn’t leave good memories for Imam Muhammad Yahya, as his grandson assassinated him during a coup in Yemen in 1948. Nevertheless, the palace did remain in the ownership of the Yemeni royal family until the 1962 Yemeni revolution.
However, Islamic scholar Imam Mansoor Ali Bin Mehdi Abbas constructed the structure atop the rock column. This beautiful building has multiple facilities, including a kitchen, storage area, guest rooms, and a sedate courtyard leading through the five-story structure. The main feature of this building is that it looks like a fortress with shooting emplacements to defend the place from attackers. Therefore, it’s indeed easy on the eye, though designed to withstand attack and its own water supply from deep below the rock’, meaning it could ‘easily have withstood a siege’.
Now it’s a popular example of Yemeni architecture for tourists, who can see the rooms and explore the labyrinth of staircases. Now Dar al-Hajar has a museum, and tourists who paid a visit to the palace have sung its praises on the internet. It’s a fantastic place and one of the best things you will see in Yemen. You will have a wonderful experience seeing this old Yemeni palace and understanding more about the local life and culture.’ It is nothing like you have ever seen before to pay a must-visit and relish the exquisite view. The majestic five floors offer enough to relish, but walking around at its base is equally impressive and heightens your admiration.