Archeology

Gravity-Defying Yemeni Village: See the Incredible 150-Meter High Rock Formation It’s Built Upon

The strange village in Yemen perched on a gigantic boulder that looks like a fortress from a fantasy film.

orld-class rock climbers are required for access to this settlement from one side. Yemen’s Haid Al-Jazil is perched on a large rock with vertical sides in a dusty valley and appears to be a town from a fantasy movie.

The incredible village in Yemen built on a 150 meters high gigantic rock block 2

Panorama of Haid Al-Jazil in Wadi Doan, Hadramaut, Yemen. © Istock

The 350-foot-tall boulder is surrounded by geology reminiscent of the Grand Canyon, which heightens the drama of the setting.  The environment is one of the harshest in the world – Yemen doesn’t have any permanent rivers. They instead rely on wadis, seasonal water-filled canals.

These amazing images demonstrate how Haid Al-Jazil is situated directly over one such feature. Shepherds and their goat flocks walk the valley floor when it rains.

The incredible village in Yemen built on a 150 meters high gigantic rock block 3
Unlike most tones in the Hadhramaut region of Yemen, Al-Hajjarayn does not lie in the bed of a wadi (dry riverbed), but rather on top of a rocky promontory guarded by an even higher rock. The town is therefore aptly named since Al-Hajjarayn means “the two rocks”. © Flickr

The mud bricks used to construct the homes in Haid Al-Jazil are prone to washing away. It would explain why the buildings are situated far from the wadi. Such accommodations have been reported to be constructed by Yemenis that are 11 floors tall, or roughly 100 feet. There are several such homes in the nation that are 500 years old.

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