To the south of Sanaa (Taiz city is 256km from Sanaa). Taiz has divers relief of mountains, plains and Wadis, with a long stretch of coast line along the Red Sea and Bab Al Mandab strait. Elevations reach 3070m at Al Arous summit of Jabel Saber. Many wadis and plains produce fruits such as mango, lemon, pomegranate, banana, papaya as well as cereals and coffee.
Many of the cities of Taiz are ancient, especially Al Sawa and Jaba, which were cited in Al Mousand inscriptions and such sites left relics of which is Al Kodma Fort, Dams, ponds, Subterranean Silos. The Fort is connected to two tunnels and other facilities as for Jaba it was called Jaban in Minite inscriptions and the Yemeni Geographer Abu Al Hassan Al Hamdani mentioned it as the capital of Al Maaferd for Alkarandi of Bani Thamamah of Little Himyar, he further said that Jaba and its premises ids the Capital of Maafer and it is located in a gap between the Saber mountain and Dhakher Mountain (Jabel Habashi) in Wadi Al Dhabab opposite the African Coast, the Mainite inscriptions mention that they were commercial partners of Jaba which monopolized the Fragrance Trade and was linked with the Mainites in extensive relationships. When the Yemenite cities began to lose their importance they faded away and new cities sprung out such as Al-Janad which flourished upon the prosperity of the trade route across the Yemenite plateau which used to reach the near orient on the Mediterranean. Al Janad was an important station on that road presenting services for the caravans upon the advent of the Islamic faith Al Janad was in the circle of light and wore a new bright Islamic apparel and became more important as religious station on the pilgrimage route which used to start from Aden to Lahj /Thawbah/Warzan/Al Janad/Al Sahool/Sanaa /Mecca. Al Janad till this day occupies a high spiritual position and the people still visit Al Janad mosque the first day of every Rajab Month annually. Upon the occurrence of Islamic Sovereign states in Yemen away from the hegemony of the Caliphate Taiz began to take its role as an important cit at the northern foothill of Jabal Sabir till the Advent of the Ayyubides who made Taiz their capital during the period from 1174-1229 Ad. Then the Rasulides as of 1226 till 145 Ad and adopted Taiz as its capital. The Rasullyde State is the most famous Yemenite State during the medieval era and the longest in tenure as it lasted for 228 years. During its rule Taiz its capital and its remaining fringes witnessed a huge civilization upheaval and development in Administrative Systems. Culture spread forts, schools, walls etc. were built. At the beginning of the prosperity of coffee Trade as Lucrative Crop. The Ottomans started utilizing Mokha Seaport for trade instead of Aden Seaport because this seaport transferred during the Maritime contention between the Ottomans and the Portuguese to a warlike Fort and thus Mokha Seaport witnessed a golden era as of the late 16th century till the late 19th century AD, when the British revived the importance of Aden Seaport and Mokha Seaport was subjected to havoc.
Old Taiz City
Ibn Batourt the great Arab Traveler described it in 1332 as one of the largest and most beautiful cities of the country. Until recently it was enclosed by a stone Wall 13 meters high with guard towers and five gates. Only two of those gates survive: Al Bab Al Kabeer and Bab Mousa. Parts of the wall still connect to Sabir Fortress. It used to grow a large variety, of fruits giving rise to the description of Taiz as Damascus of Yemen. The Rasulide schools and Mosques of Taiz were well-known. Among those that still stands are Al Ashrafeyah School (named after The Rasulid King Al Ashraf 1377-1400 AD) , with its two white Minarets standing among volcanic rocks at the foothills. Also stands Al Modhafer Mosque and Al Mutabiya Dome which is beautifully decorated in watercolors.
Imam Ahmed had taken Taiz for the seat of his dynasty from 1948-1962. His memorabilia, especially gifts from other heads o states, are in display at the Saalah museum.
Among the highest mountains in Yemen with an Altitude of 3070 meters. Many springs and streams run on its sides and the lights of its cliff-hung villages are mistaken for stars. An exciting road leads from Taiz to the top of the mountain. The road is filled with the activity of a living mountain female vendors of fruits and roses , dressed in their traditional gowns that have no equal , tread the road with their ware in baskets balanced on top of their heads.
Souq Al Janad was one of the Arab seasonal markets before ISLAM. Nothing has survived out of Al Janad old city except the mosque which was built by the revered companion of the Prophet, Muadh Bin Jabal, in the 8th year Ah. (630. AD) as ordered by prophet Mohammed. Al-Janad Mosque together with the great Mosque in Sanaa are considered to be the oldest Mosques in the Islamic era along with the Mosque of Prophet Mohammed in Holy Medina. Al janad plain is 20 km from Taiz city.
This located 94 km to the west of Taiz and is a port that flourished due to the prosperity of Yemen coffee export trade since the late 16th century Ad. Until the destruction of the city in the early 20th century Mokha coffee is named after this town. The name is still in use up to date. Mokha and lost its importance as a trading port to the Port of Aden in the late 19th Century and to the Port of Hodiedah in the second half of the 20th century, a few ruins of old Mokha still remind us of the ancient glory of this city. The most important feature of Mokha nowadays is Al Shadeli Mosque and minaret which dates back to more than 500 years ago, the most important tourist sites nearby Mokha are several vast beautiful beaches surrounded with palm and coconut trees such as Yakhtoul and Al Moulk beaches located between the mouth of Wadi Rasyan and Wadi Mawza.
The Weekly Souq
Many weekly souqs are held throughout the Governorate, most important of which is Souq Al Dhabab which is held on the banks of the fertile Wadi Al Dhabab . This souq reflects the life style of Taiz and its environs is held on Sunday of every week.
There are many tombs and shrines of saints in Taiz. The most important is the tomb of the famous Mystic (Sufi) leader to whom the Dervish Order (Al wani Order) is attributed, namely, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Alwan, who was contemporary to King Mansour Nour Alddin Omar Bin Ali in the middle of the 7th AH century 13th century AD his tomb is located in Yafrous Mosque known as Shiekh Ahmed Bin Alwan Mosque, about 30km to the southwest of Taiz at the right side of the road leading to Akl Turbah. The Mosque dates back to more than 500 years and is visited by people every year.
Al Ghareeb Tree (The Strangers Tree)
It is on the area of Duqm Al-Ghurab (Duba) on the right side of the asphalt road leading to Turbat Dhbhan. It is historically known as Al Kolhouma and is an old Baobab tree. There are many scenic routes in Taiz Governorate like the road Taiz Adh Dhabab Al-Nashamah Al-Shubah-Qadas-At-Turba-Haygat Al-Abd-Al-Maqatera-Tour Al-Baha Lahj Aden.
The most famous forts and fortress in Taiz:
The most famous mountain of Taiz is Sabir that is a pyramidal mountain south of the city of Taiz and its height is 3070 above sea level and its highest summit is Al Arous Fort.
Jabal Habashi it used to be called in the past Dhakhar Mountain and it is a humped mountain lying to the west of Sabir Mountain.
Jabal Sama A paramedical mountain, south of Sabir Mountain and to the south of it another pyramidal mountain which is Qadas Mountain.
The famous historical mountainous range of Al-Turbah and Maqatirah which host the historical Maqaterah fortress, Sharjab Mountains, Sabran, Haifan and Qabaitah which extend to the south and overlook Lahj Governorate and its average altitude is between 2000-3000m above sea level.
Al silou Mountain it is located south east of Taiz and has got the Doloah historical fortress.
Jibal Sharaab, Jibal Makbanah (whose height is 2000m above sea level) and Al Husha mountains.
Al Wazaaiyah Mountains rising 1000-1500 m above sea level.
Taiz Famous forts:
Youmain Fort Above Youmain Mountain lying in Azaiez next to Alturbah.
Housn Samdan on Al Raja aayah area.
Housn Moneef Overlooking Al Zaraiqah area.