Harar and Diredawa

HARAR

The historic city of Harer and its surroundings is enriched with tremendous cultural treasures. Some of the most prominent are described below.There are also many other cultural attractions in and around Harer

Window on the past

The city of Harar is an ancient (1520) and holy city. Harar was an important trading center. The city is famous for its ancient buildings, its great city walls and as a center of Islamic learning (the city has 99 mosques). It is believed to be the fourth holiest city for Islam after Mecca, Medina & Jerusalem. The city is well known for its superb handicrafts that include woven textiles, basket ware, silverware and handsomely bound books. Harar has been a place of pilgrimage from all over the world for many years. Harar’s attractions are:

Harari Home

Harari homes are unique and reminiscent of coastal Arab architecture. Bowls, dishes, and basketry are hung in stylized fashion on the wall, but all are functional.

The Hyena man

As evening falls, local men attract wild hyenas to the city in a bizarre spectacle as they bravely feed these dangerous scavengers.

The City Walls

The City Walls, and the narrow streets lined with traditional Hararigegar houses.

Rimbaud House

A fine building traditional house dating from the period when the French poet Rimbaud lived in Harar.

Dire Dawa

This impressively large city sprang into existence in 1902 when the railway builders, advancing inland from the coast.

The open markets around Kefira provide opportunities of exploring Oromo and Somali people with their camels and local products for exchange.

In the ‘railway town’ bright jacarandas and flamboyant line the wide avenues, The ‘Chemin de Fer’ or railway station is Dire Dawa’s most attractive feature. Although the original steam engines have long since been replaced by diesels, the trains running between Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa still have a wild, pioneering atmosphere.

Only 32 kilometers from Dire Dawa are 2500 year old rock paintings of LegaOda. This rarely visited site has now become much more accessible by road, and provides a fascinating glimpse of the ancient people who lived in and painted their cave with oxen and wild animals