01 December, 2010

Sights while passing through Taiz

Dramatically set on highlands. The city of mountains and industries; with many old, renowned buildings, forts and 13th-14th century mosques; at an elevation of about 1,500 meters above sea level; and with a pleasant, cool climate. That is Taiz or Tai'zz (Arabic: تعز ), the third largest town in Yemen after Sana'a and Aden; and located between the two.

Approaching Taiz from Aden, mountains welcome you; the city is known for its mountains.

Mountains, one of which is the over 3,000 meters high Djabel Saber (not the above) which rises over the city.

The city's weather is in between that of Aden and Sana'a; not as stiflingly hot and humid as Aden and not as cold and dry as Sana'a. It is cool and pleasant for most of the year. And rainy.

With hills and mountains around it, the city has roads running up and down; some winding up hills; to reach the many houses perched on the sides of mountains and those on top.

The history of the the city, dates back to the 6th century of Hijrah, or 12th AD. It is around then, the Great Muslim warrior Salah Al Deen Al Ayyubi, sent his older brother Turan Shah ibn Ayyub to conquer and then govern Yemen.

Apparently, Taiz was brought to the world's attention by the great traveler and explorer, Ibn Battuta - who after being in Taiz described it as being one of the 'most beautiful cities' he had ever seen.

Taiz now, does not have that magnificence and grandeur as it used to have; but, it still is a beautiful and fascinating place.

Today, Taiz has the most industries in the country; mainly, light ones.

Around the city, coffee and qat are grown and are important cash crops for the people of the area. Vegetables and some fruits are grown too.

It is famed too, for its home-made goat cheese; and jewelery.

The city proper, has a population of about half-a-million people; many more people are in the surrounding areas.

The city, due to its narrow winding streets - can get very crowded at times during the day.

Taiz has many mosques, some very old and many new ones.

Leaving Taiz towards Sana'a, it is uphill; and mountainous still; all the way to Sana'a.

With its many hills, mountains and valleys; and interesting souq; and fascinating old mosques and forts; Taiz - a city that attracted visitors from time immemorial - will continue attracting people. Read more about Taiz: here and here.