Shibam – The Oldest Skyscraper City

The desert of Yemen, Wadi Hadramout, is an ancient walled city "Shibam," listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1982. It is called the "Manhattan of the Desert" or "Chicago of the Desert" because of its "skyscrapers." The land surrounded by a mud wall, the city of the 16th century, is one of the oldest examples of urban planning based on vertical construction. 

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Shibam City

Yemen Skyscrapers — Shibam Hadramawt can be described as a Yemeni town. It has approximately 7,000 residents and is the seat of District of Shibam, in the Governorate of Hadhramaut. The ancient city of Shibam, built 400 years ago, was a thriving commercial center. Shibam several times, became the capital of the kingdom of Hadramaut. 

Ancient Skyscrapers — The city is famous for its incomparable with anything comparable architecture - all the houses are built in Shibam of adobe bricks. About 500 homes are called high-rises, as they have 5-11 floors, each floor was a single-family dwelling. This type of structure was designed to protect residents from Bedouin raids. While Shibam has existed for about 2,500 years, most urban homes were built in the 16th century. Many of them were repeatedly rebuilt in later centuries. In Shibam are the highest buildings in the world of clay, some of which rise to 30 meters or more.

Manhattan of the desert — These high-rise buildings are a product of the "traditional family system." According to local tradition, the family, as a rule, does not divide built premises and expands up to your living space thanks to the original roof. So, from generation to generation, gradually formed a high dwelling. Each of the 500 such houses in Shibam has from 5 to 8 floors, home to 7,000 people. That is, on average, every building is designed for more than 100 people. The ground floor is given to animals; the second floor is keep-lischem; the third - accommodations. Usually, on the third-floor room host, fourth and fifth floors are rooms for women and children, on the sixth floor is a common room. In each room is not much space, the first and second floors, mostly devoid of windows.

Yemen Architecture

Old walled city of Shibam In the city of Shibam, all objects, including fences, houses, mosques, and even schools, are built of adobe bricks (they are made of clay, straw, and water, dried in the sun for three days, and ready for use in construction). Such dwellings may persist for centuries and are a marvel of architecture. To protect the buildings from periodic rain, the exterior of buildings' walls is maintained and regularly applied by fresh soil layers. The city is surrounded by a complete wall in a citadel known as the "walled city of Shibam." Every year the residents of Shibam and paint the exterior walls are whitewashed, which is sufficient to prevent water erosion. Shibam is built from environmentally friendly materials and blending in perfectly with the environment.

Where is the world's oldest skyscraper city?

Shibam, Yemen — Located in Hadhramaut Governorate's western region in the desert of Ramlat al-Sab'atayn. Its main road links Sana'a, other western cities, to the far east territories. Seiyun, the seat of an airfield, and Tarim are both located in the east. The road that runs from Alajlanya (in the west) connects Shibam with Mukalla, which is the capital of the governorate, at the Indian Ocean.

Buildings in the desert — Shibam is 160 km long and 2 km wide and is a dry valley. Here rainfall, torrential rains, and floods are rare. However, in 1298 and 1532 was twice destroyed Shibam floods. Today's buildings are constructed of Shibam, mainly 400 years ago.

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yemen skyscrapers
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buildings in the desert
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old walled city of shibam
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yemen houses inside
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shibam chicago
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manhattan of the desert
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shibam interiors
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shibam, yemen
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where is the world's oldest skyscraper city?
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