Sa'da

Sa’da lies in the north of Yemen, boarding Saudia Arabia 243km From Sana’a.

Sa’da has a variety of relief: high mountains to the north and west such as Khawlan, Baqim and Razih mountains, 2,800m above sea-level, which are linked to the Juma’aeh mountain chain. In Razeh mountain range. Jabal Hurum, which has the highest peak, with Jabal Al-Nadheer, Jabal Qal’a Sahar and Jabal Al- Sama’a the next highest peak (on Sana’a there is a castle built by Imam Ahmad which is located parallel to Al-Sunnara Castle to the west). The Hamdan Bin Zaid Mountains .eg. Barash Mountain which ranges between 2000-2800m. The mountain ranges are interested by a number of wadis the most important of which are wadi Saqain, Nnushour, Badr, Dhamad and Alaf, as well as Wadi Abdayn at Khaniq Strait, where there are remains of the Himyrite Khaniq Dam, which kept existence until 9th century AD.

Sa’da Flatland(Qa’a)

The Flatland of Sa’da is amongst the most fertile in Yemen with farmers growing black Grapes, pomegranates, peaches apricots figs and other. Fruit at high altitudes (1800 meters above sea level ), it is one of the highest flatlands in Yemen. Juma’a encloses the area and Ghamar mountains from the north and west and from the south Sahar mountains, while from the east the Hamdan mountains.

Eastern Sa’da
High mountains and inner deserts characterize this part of the Governorate, with a number of a valley streams flowing through to the Empty Quarter desert.

Handicrafts
Sa’da is famous for its good-quality iron, traces of which can been seen in various parts of the Governorate, and some its people still work in the mining of iron-ore from the mountains. They melt it in primitive furnaces to make tools, due to its high quality, and despite the availability of imported iron in the markets. Dagger Blades from Sa’da were sought after. The iron is also used in the manufacture of ploughs, and leather tanning tools. Other handicrafts include:

Leather good, ornaments, Sa’da is an important center. Sa’da is also famous for domestic utensils made from palm leaves and clay. The residents of Sa’da are very skillful in the making of kitchen-ware from stone extracted from the Razih Quarries. Such stones are called Harradh and the utensils made from these stones are very popular and are called”Al Maqla Al-Sa’di, Al-Hardha Al-Sa’diyya, meaning Sa’da frying pan”.

The markets

There are a number of weekly markets held in different parts of the Governorate on different days, the most important being Al-Tallh, 10km to the north of Sa’da, which is held every Saturday, and is considered to be the biggest market in Yemen.

Archaeological and tourist Sites in Sa’da
As the relief in Sa’da vary so does the living of the population, there are mountains, towns, plains, and grass lands such as the eastern region of Sa’da. According to this natural, human, cultural and historical map as of prehistoric times until now and can be summed up as follows:

Sa’da City

Sa’da is located to the east of Archaeological Mount Talmuss on which is Tamulss fortress that was built by Yaali Bin Omer Bin Zaid and is overlooking Sa’dah and its Mikhlafs as well as Wadi Gharaz, Wadi Rahban. It has been destroyed later and renovated by Imam Yehya Bin Hamzah who constructed control towers and at present there are only some remains. Imam Nashwan Bin Saeed Al Himiari said in his second part of Shams Al Illom Scroll about the name of Sa’dah, Sa’dah is a town for Khawlan Bin Amro and was named Sa’dah because a King of Himyar built a high castle and once seen by the king he said it has been elevated and hence came the name, Sa’dah in Arabic is also straight pipe and Sa’dah is an adjective for a willowy woman. In pre-Islamic era it used to be named Jom’a i.e. a mixture of people from different tribes. There are no sound proofs about who founded Sa’dah but the ancient Yemeni Geographer Al Hamdani recounted that Hajar Bin Rabiah Bin Saad Bin Khawlan left Sirwah towards the north and passed by the field of Sa’dah that was lightly settled and founded the town. There are inscriptions speaking about the town of Khawlan Al sham and that is Sa’dah and there are other inscriptions in the name of Rahban because Sa’dah is located directly to the north. Those inscriptions date back to before the 4th century AD. It is also noted through follow-up of the inscriptions events which refer to old Sa’dah as existent before the Birth of Jesus and persisted alive till 1138 AD when it was taken by Imam Ahmed Bin Salman and destroyed it and many of its inhabitations left for various places as for the town of Sa’dah it was established by Imam Alhadi Bin Alhasan Bin Alkasim Alrasi Who came to Sa’dah in 284 Hegira= 897 AD and disseminated his invitation and with it knowledge and justice prevailed and wrote many books available till the moment effective. Furthermore, he built his famous mosque named Al adi Mosque. He continued his call for 14 years till he passed away in 911 AD and his burial was conducted in front of Al Hadi Mosque in front of the Prayer direction vestibule. Sa’Adah through history remained as strong source for manufacture and agriculture for it used to manufacture iron as recounted that Sa’dah included many Iron furnaces and the iron leftovers are still around Sa’dah. Also the Iron Melting Furnaces besides manufacture of tools, minted the different coins and quarries are still existent to the East of Alba Mount overlooking Sa’dah from the East of Alba Mount overlooking Sa’dah from the east and in Al danah near the area of Majz Jomah.

The city is surrounded by a fortified wall considered and is one of the tourist attractions of Yemen similar to Sana’a Wall but Sa’dahj Wall is still intact with all its components. It is built of mud bricks in a wavy manner interspersed 52 towers and four Gates:

1)Najran 2) Swedan 3)Mansourah and Hamdan in side the wall are 16 staircases the wall measures: 3.326 m in length 8m height from the outside and 6m from the inside the thickness at the ground is 5m and as the top 3.5m it is in an excellent condition even though it was built in the 16th century.

Architectural Style

The city of Sa’dah is distinguished for its architecture style which is like of old Sana’a to a great extent whilst there is another style prevalent in Sa’dah and Eastern Yemen and it is the Mud Bricks Style which is constructed according to stages with determined heights in the from of Belts. Thisstyle is noted in many villages of Sa’dah Governorate.

Al-Hadi Mosque dates back to the 9th century and is considered one of the oldest and most beautiful mosques in Yemen. It contains tomb and domes, the most important of which is the tomb of Al-Hadi Yahia Bin Al-Husain founder of the Zaidite dynasty in the 3rd Hegira century (9th century AD). Sa’dah town is famous and Al Hadi mosque were famous in addition to other mosques as schools used for theological studies, which gave the city an acadimic aura which is comparable to that of Sana’a , Zabid, Tarim,Dhamar, Jiblah and Al hadi mosque is still possessing many invaluable manuscripts and references books.

Sa’dah attractions include Moslem graveyards located close to the city’s wall and are unique in that the stones are engraved with the names of the deceased, the date of death, his virtues, prayers and verses from the Holy Quran, even some poetry, let alone that Sa’dah is considered an Exemplary Yemenite Islamic town.

Beautiful Villages Surrounding Sa’da

Scattered around Sa’dah and in parts of Qa’a Al-Hosn and Sa’eed, united by the distinguished architectural style of Sa’dah which is built by mud bricks surround by gardens of grapes, pomegranates, fruits.Worthy of a special mention are the villages of Al-Talh, Al-Abdainn and Rahban.

Forts and Castles of Sa’da
Sa’da Governorate was a cross point for trade caravans across different historical epochs whether Ollibanum and perfumes caravans at the time before Christ or the caravans from the As’ad route, or the proprietors of the elephant route which passed by a series of towns and hills during the pre-Islamic era, and is also a route for pilgrims since Islam. The construction of forts and castles, therefore, seemed necessary to protect the travelers. Some were built close to Sa’dah such as Al-Sinarah , Sama’a fort, Tulmus fort and Al –Abla fort, Razeh fortress “humrum” to the north west of Sa’dah 60km away. The most important of the forts and castles is” Om Laila”, sixty kilometers to the north-west of Sa’dah at Baqim , Juma’ah. Old Yemeni inscriptions confirm that this is a most significant archaeological site and contains stone paved roads, reservoir, grain stores and defense constructions such as towers and fortified walls, with only one wall leading to its beautiful scenery from all around which await the visitor.

Rock Drawings and Primitive Paintings
Sa’da is an area, which boasts a large collection of ancient paintings and signs dating back to the Hunter Gatherers Society. In the mountain area many of the caves and rocks are full of inscriptions and paintings of goats, hounds, cows, snakes, plant and geometrical shapes. The two areas rich in such drawings are Al-Khaza’in, 15km to the north –west of Sa’da at Om Lailai and Musalhaqat 20km to thenorth west of Sa’dah.

Al- Khazain Rocky Graveyard
Fifteen kilometers to the northwest of Sa’da is the Rocky Graveyard. This graveyard is carved in the mountain and resembles a vault. It has a square door leading to rooms, each about 20 square meters. The rooms are similar to those at Shibam Kawkaban, Dhofar Al-Malik , Wadi Dhaher and Shibam Al-Gharras.Al-Alkhaza’in there is a reservoir eight meters deep and 4 meters wide.

Other places worth visiting Haidan Baqim Wadi Nashur Razeh Saqin Wa’ela Sehra Ghuraz and Al-Buqa’a.

Customs, Traditions and Folklore
Sa’da is rich in its art, folklore dances and music, with some of its residents having traditions found nowhere else. For example, the male residents on the outskirts of Sa’da Governorate wear wreaths of flowers around their heads and their hair is grown down to their shoulders. This part of Sa’da has retained a life-style, which has not been affected by time.

Al-Buqa’a, a crossing point for Saudi Arabia, is located to the north –east of Sa’adah.

The most important mountains and forts in Sa’dah

The western chain of mountains From the south begin the mountains of Khawlan Bin Amir and are elevated 2800m above sea level and they are Al Karb ,AlMuftah, Marran, Al Jomah,Haydan, Wair. Almanar and Hayash Mountans.

The chain Of Joma’ah Mountains and they are

Asim Mountains, Khonfaar,Sham ,Darbain,Aswad Mountain,Qatabir,Marra Mountain,Al Qarad ,Om Laila which is an archaeological Mountain, Shida,Al Irr and Munabah Mountain.

The Chain of Eastern Joma’ah Mountains and they are

Sanhan Al Sham, Baqim,Abu-Al-Hadeed and Sorom Mountains.

Razih Mountains include,

Ghamir ,Hurrum( on which is the Hurum fortress) 2800m above sea level and it is the highest mountain in Razih. To the west of Razih there are Al Nadheer, Al Qalah and Al Dhaiah Mountains.

Jibal Sahar, then Al Sama on which is Al Sama Fortress and it is paralleling Al Sinnarah Fortressto the west.

Tulmuss Mountain, it is one of Sa’dah’s Archaeological sites.

Al Abla Mountain, on it there is a historical fort, Dhofar Mountain,Kablan Mountain and the prominent mount north of Sa’dah is Walaan.

Hamdan Bin Zaid Mountains, The most important which are:

Jabal Bbarsh (pyramidal in form), Ammer mountains, Wadaah Mountains.

Wayilah Mountains, their elevation ranges between 2000-2800m above sea level,Amalisah mountains,Ashash mountains,Raawom,Fard Mountains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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