travel, Yemen

Shibam: The mud-brick beauty of Yemen

Shibam is an old town in Yemen, with only around 7ooo inhabitants. It is famous for its mudbrick-made tower houses.  The first known inscription about the city dates from the 3rd century AD. It was the capital of the Hadramawt Kingdom. The houses of Shibam are all made out of mud brick and about 500 of them are tower houses, which rise 5 to 11 stories high. This architectural style was not used because of its beauty, but to protect residents from Bedouin attacks.

The town is often called “the oldest skyscraper city in the world” or “the Manhattan of the desert”, and is one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction. The city grew up because of its location as an important caravan halt on the spice and incense route across the Southern Arabian plateau.

Take a walk on its streets – it’s pure loveliness.








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