Top Ten Eritrean Attractions

Top Ten Eritrean Attractions

       Eritrea is a country in the Horn of Africa, whose capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands are part of Eritrea. Eritrea’s size is approximately 117,600 square km (45,406 square mi) with an estimated population of 6 million.

  1. Asmara

    Asmara, formerly known as Asmera, meaning “Made them United” in Tigrigna, is the capital city and largest settlement in Eritrea, home to a population of around 579,000 people. At an elevation of 2,325 m (7,628 ft), Asmara is on the edge of an escarpment that is both the northwestern edge of the Great Rift Valley and of the Eritrean highlands.
  2. Assab

    Assab is a port city in the Southern Red Sea Region of Eritrea on the west coast of the Red Sea. In 1989, it had a population of 39,600. Assab possesses an oil refinery, which was shut down in 1997 for economic reasons. Nearby is the site of the ancient city of Arsinoe.
  3. Massawa

    Massawa, also known as Mitsiwa and Batsi, is a city on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea. An important port for many centuries, it was ruled by a succession of polities, including the Axumite Empire, the Umayyad Caliphate, the Beja Kingdom, the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, Britain, Italy and Ethiopia, until Eritrea’s independence in 1991. Massawa was the capital of the Italian Colony of Eritrea until this was moved to Asmara in 1900.
  4. Qohaito

    Qohaito was a pre-Aksumite city that thrived during the Aksumite period. Located over 2,500 m above sea level in the Debub region of Eritrea, on a high plateau at the very edge of the edge of the great Rift Valley, As of 2011, Qohaito’s ruins have yet to be excavated. The ancient port of Adulis lies directly to the east. Rock art near the town appears to indicate habitation in the area since the 5th millennium BC, while the town is known to have survived to the 6th century AD. Mount Emba Soira, Eritrea’s highest mountain, lies near the site, as does a small successor village. It is often identified as the town Koloe of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a document dated to the end of the 1st century AD. Qohaito thrived as a stop on the trade route between Adulis and Aksum, and Qohaito may have been a summer capital of the Aksumite Empire. It is thought that crops were interspersed with buildings in the town, ruined buildings including the pre-Christian Temple of Mariam Wakino and the Sahira Dam (which may be pre-Aksumite). The ruins at Qohaito were first located in 1868, but at the time erroneously identified as a “Greek depot.” However, decades of civil war and autocratic rule have prevented Eritrea from properly excavating this important site and learning more of its poorly detailed history. A related site outside of Senafe, Matara, lies about 15 km to the south, and was excavated in the 1960’s.
  5. Keren

    Keren (formerly Cheren) is the 2nd largest city in Eritrea, lying about 91 km north-west of Asmara. It is the capital of the Anseba region and home to the Bilen ethnic group.
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