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Notes on the Geography of Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace

Wadi Dhahr, though barely beyond the outskirts of Sana'a, seems remote.

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Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 1

The wadi from the north or upstream end.

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 2

There's a village at the mouth of the valley, perhaps five miles downstream from the last picture. The village is also called Wadi Dhahr.

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 3

Camouflage.

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 4

Tucked in.

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 5

A house built for a dangerous world.

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 6

Rub your eyes. Go ahead. Atop a butte eroded to a single shaft, the Imam Yahya, who ruled from 1904 until his assassination in 1948, built the Dar al-Hajar or Rock Palace as a summer home. The place later became a museum. The government at one time had plans to convert the place into a luxury hotel with a rooftop casino.

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 7

The rock footing.

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 8

The view from the top of that footing.

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 9

A terrace balustrade and an exercise in paleolithic anthropomorphism--or is that just nuts?

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 10

The rooms are bare and the stained glass not to everyone's taste.

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 11

The exterior is more impressive.

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 12

You didn't think it was so big, did you?

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 13

Outside and waiting for customers: itsy-bitsy apricots.

Yemen: Wadi Dhahr: Rock Palace picture 14

Water is scarce, so fruit is small.


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