The impressive Dar Al Hajar, known as “the stone house”
About 20 kilometres from Sana’a, located in Wadi Dhar, a fertile valley in the middle of the mountains, there is an exceptional place where we had unforgettable moments. A site definitely to visit if you are around the capital: the Dar Al Hajar.
The “Stone House” is a truly unique architectural work, specially built in a lush valley rich in fruit (nowadays also qat). Despite the different sources on its date of construction, there are some references about this site even in the pre-Islamic era. As it often happens in Yemen, it is difficult to understand the exact dates, though somebody says it was built in the 18th century on the ruins of an ancient Sabean palace Dhoo Seedan.
It was destroyed and rebuilt several times during the different periods until it reaches these days in its splendour. Around the ’30s, Imam Yahya reconstructed the palace, transforming it into its summer residence and adding some details such as the “mafraj”, a typical Yemeni lounge located on the tower’s top floor. This palace built on the rock is a true 7-storeys masterpiece, with about 35 rooms and guest rooms, Turkish baths, fountains, and much more. The artistic beauty of the building is also in the care of details, where doors and windows cannot be overlooked.
At the entrance of the building, in the large garden, you can find the beautiful ”al talooq”, an old tree dated back to 7 centuries ago, where today many visitors, especially local people that during the weekend come to the wadi with families, take shelter from the heat. Today the Dar Al Hajar is owned by the government, and it houses a museum with traditional clothes and items from the past. It is interesting to visit the interior and then go to the top of the building to admire the whole valley enjoying a breathtaking view!