Yemen Tour Guide: Aden

Yemen Tour Guide: Aden Last updated on Monday 26th April 2010

Aden is a natural port, built on an old volcanic site and first used by the ancient Kingdom of Awsan between the 5th and 7th centuries B.C. The port's convenient position on the most important sea route between India and Europe, attracted the attention of the rulers of many ancient kingdoms, all of whom sought to possess it at various times throughout history.

Aden's last foreign rulers were the British, who conquered it in 1839, when it became known as the Aden protectorate. When the British left Aden in 1967, it was used as the capital of the People's Democratic Republic of the Yemen (PDRY). At the uniting of North and South Yemen, Aden was declared the commercial capital of the YAR and a free trade zone.

Aden consists of a number of small linked towns; the port city, the industrial city known as Little Aden with its large oil refinery, and Madinat ash-Sha'b, which is the centre of government. Two suburbs, Khormaksar and Sheikh Othman lie to the north of the old city, with the international airport situated between them.

Things to see and places to visit in Aden

The Tanks of Aden: 18 cisterns dating from the 1st century A.D., when they were probably built by the Himyarites. Situated high above the oldest part of the city on the volcanic slopes, these cisterns can store up to 45 million litres of water.

The National Museum: Situated in Crater, the old part of the city, the museum was once a sultan's palace and contains many interesting archaeological finds.

The Ethnographical Museum: Open from 8am to 1pm daily. Located in a garden near the tanks.

The Military Museum: Situated on Sayla Road, Crater, this museum is open every day except Thursday, from 8.30am to 1.30pm and from 3pm to 5pm.

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