Harar is one of the few remaining walled cities in the world. It stands at the Eastern wall of the Great Rift Valley and serves as the provincial capital of the country’s largest administrative region, Harare. The city gives a wonderful view of the Danakil desert and the majestic Hara Mountains. The Ogaden plains to the south add beauty to the city’s location. Until 1887, the city was forbidden and enforces fierce religious rules throughout. Only after Menelik gained central rule did the city opened up.
The religiosity of the people makes it unsurprising that the city is dotted with 99 mosques. The Grand Mosque, considered to be the fourth most holy city in Islam, is located within its walls.
The city boasts a rich collection or traditional art. The Medhane Alem Church is the town’s center and houses the most exotic of the art collections. Agriculture and economy of the region bring the marketplace of Harar to be most colourful in Ethiopia.
It is also host for coffee beans sourced from the Ahmar Mountains which are considered to the best in all of Ethiopia. Harar is further famed for its skilled silversmiths where beautiful necklaces, chains, and bracelets can be bought. The basketry is also very impressive for the town is also regarded to produce baskets in the most exquisite designs.
The surprises of Harar do not end here. The usual visitor always finds something personally special in the town’s marketplace. It is easily reachable by buses and trains. Air travel is also possible in Dire Dawa, which is nearer to the town.