Harar (Harrar)


Harrar Coffee & Roastery     Photo: http://www.runinout.com/
Location: 2904 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

Harrar Coffee & Roastery bears the name of the town of Harar, Ethiopia located 231 miles from Addis Ababa.

“The town of Harar dates from before the thirteenth century. Its strategic location between the coastal lowlands and central highlands led to its development as an important centre of Islamic culture and commerce. A period of instability led to a loss of its traditional power between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries but it regained its importance in the following century.”  UNESCO

“The Muslim faith is very old in this region, just across the Red Sea from the cradle of Islam itself. Even if one often thinks of ‘typical’ Ethiopian history as a Christian history, Harar represents the other face, the quintessence of medieval Muslim Ethiopia, whose permanent centre it became. The city of Harar, lon an independent city-state, is the most important Mulim city in the interor of what is now Ethiopia” (Munro-Hay, 177).


Walled City Gate, Harar   Photo credit: tripadvisor

Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town

“The fortified historic town of Harar is located in the eastern part of the country on a plateau with deep gorges surrounded by deserts and savannah. The walls surrounding this sacred Muslim city were built between the 13th and 16th centuries. Harar Jugol, said to be the fourth holiest city of Islam, numbers 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines, but the townhouses with their exceptional interior design constitute the most spectacular part of Harar’s cultural heritage. The impact of African and Islamic traditions on the development of the town’s building types and urban layout make for its particular character and uniqueness.” https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1189


Harar Jugol, Ethiopia
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Harar Jugol, Ethiopia
Photo: Wikimedia Commons


“Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town.” UNESCO World Heritage List. whcunesco.org Accessed 9/8/2020.

Munro-Hay, Stuart. Ethiopia the Unknown Land, A Cultural and Historical Guide. I.B Tauris, 2002.