Coming from Suq al-Wadi, at one point it is inevitable that your eyes are drawn towards Dar al Hajar. While the wadi is an oasis of green and quiet not far from the capital San'a, the Rock Palace is its jewel, visible from many corners of the wadi. The closer you get, the higher it seems to become, until you reach the bottom and you have to put your head between your shoulders to be able to look up and admire the building.
What makes the building so attractive is perhaps because it is exemplary of Yemeni architecture, it seems to grow out of the rocks on which it is constructed, and it has the characteristic painting of its windows and edges. Furthermore, it is standing all alone and can be seen from all sides. Buying a ticket will grant you access to the palace. Walking up the many stairs brings you to various rooms: the kitchen, storage rooms, rooms for women, meeting rooms for high placed persons and friends of Imam Yahya who built the palace as a summer residence in the 1930s.
Sunday, April 27, 2008