Shibam: Multi-storey masterpiece Yemen
Shibam name means "height". This unique city is located in the Khadramaut region, between the Adon Bay and the Desert Rub El Khali.
German journalist Hans Helfried, who traveled to Yemen in the 1930s, compared Shibam with Manhattan and called him the "city of skyscrapers".
In 1982, for his unusual and unique architecture, Shibam was on the UNESCO World Heritage List. At home here have a cone-shaped form, and the floors are extended as tenants increase. So, each family occupies a whole floor.
And the narrowing of the buildings upper does not affect the size of the apartment. It affects the thickness of the walls. For example, on the first floors, their density reaches 1 meter, and on the latter – 30 centimeters.
The average height of buildings is about 25 meters, but there are also those that exceed this mark. The most outstanding buildings have 11 floors. Houses closely pressed to each other, and some are combined with small balconies.
Just imagine: the construction technology of high-rise buildings invented another 2 thousand years ago!
Why in the desert it took such structures? The fact is that at one time the shibam was between two lights, or rather between the two warranty sultanates – Casiri and Quitei. Bedouins were also often attacked by the city, so residents were covered in the walls of their homes. And for the convenience of moving from one building to another sly architects invented small connecting balconies.
Building material serve clay bricks "Madar", which are manufactured manually and dried in the sun. In our climate, such dwellings would not last and for several months, but the hot climate of Yemen retains these architectural monuments for several centuries.
Despite the fact that the city has shouted 2000 years, the age of most buildings does not exceed the pair of centuries. The oldest house has existed since 1609.
To date, about 10 thousand inhabitants live in Shibama, and the city itself is one of the country’s business cards.