Yemen Journals

Monumental Ma'rib - Yemen

Best of IgoUgo

An August 2006 trip to Yemen by HELEN001

Marib (Ancient Site) Photo, Marib, Yemen More Photos
Quote: Ma'rib is the ancient capital of the kingdom of Saba and it has the monuments to prove it. But it could also have once been the home of the Queen of Sheba - if you like.

Monumental Ma'rib - Yemen

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
I realise this may not be very helpful because I had little prior knowledge of Ma’rib and therefore few if any expectations, I thought my whole experience of the place was a highlight. It’s a package really. The contradictory ideas surrounding the origins and uses of the remarkable ‘Arsh Bilqis and Mahram Bilqis were as much a highlight as the temples themselves. Similarly I liked the fact that I found myself looking at the ruins of Old Ma’rib differently depending on which of the two stories about its destruction I was thinking about at the time. Same with the Great Ma’rib Dam and the New Dam – one minute you’re trying to imagine what the old one would look like if it was full and the next minute yo...Read More

Land of Two Paradise Hotel

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Land of Two Paradises Hotel (aka Al-Janatain)"

Quote:
Land of Two Paradises Hotel eh? And which two paradises would those be I wonder? As I’ve no idea what a ‘place of the blessed dead’* would be like then I’m prepared to concede that this could be it. But a ‘place or state of bliss’?*. I don’t think so. I’ve done plenty of bliss in my travels and this wasn’t it and paradise it ain’t. I’m pretty sure that the word refurbishment has never echoed along its dark gloomy corridors since it opened as a first class hotel in 1986. I don’t think they’ve replaced any spent light bulbs since then either - so watch out for the three shallow steps a couple of feet apart as you head out of reception towards your room. The windows in the stairwell to the upper floor lo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2006

Land of Two Paradise Hotel
Al Quiyadah Street in the City Center
Sana'a, Marib, Yemen
302309

Arsh Bilqis-Temple of the Moon

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "'Arsh Bilqis or Moon Temple or Sheba's Throne"

Quote:
Yemenis call it ‘Arsh Bilqis and foreign archaeologists call it the Temple of the Moon. Because if you’re from Yemen you think that this is the ‘throne of Bilqis’ and that Bilqis is the Yemeni name for the Queen of Saba (Sheba) – the very same Queen of Sheba that went to stay with King Solomon for her holidays back in BC10 (see the Quran, sura of Ants, 20-44 and the Bible, 1 Kings 10:1-13). But if you’re a foreign archaeologist, then as far as you’re concerned it most certainly isn’t and it’s actually a 4000-year-old temple dedicated to the moon god, Almaqh. As a foreign tourist you’re free to think what you like but, given the volatile nature of the Ma’rib area, if conversing with a local I think it’...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2006

Arsh Bilqis-Temple of the Moon
Marib
Ma'rib, Yemen

Mahram Bilqis (Awam Temple)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Mahram Bilqis or Awwan Temple or Sheba's Temple"

Mahram Bilqis (Awam Temple) Photo, Ma'rib, Yemen
Quote:
Archaeologists and Yemenis can no more see eye to eye about this place than they can about ‘Arsh Bilqis down the road. Archaeologists believe Mahram Bilqis or the Sun Temple was constructed between BC700-800 and it was originally called the Temple of Awwan, while the locals say this is the Temple of Bilqis (Sheba). Just to make it more interesting though, there is the view that because the word ‘mahram’ means refuge then this wasn’t any old temple but a place where criminals and the persecuted alike could take shelter. Mind you, there’s no reason why this couldn’t have been the case at the same time as being a sun temple or a queen’s temple. If the archaeologists are right then the temple was built lo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2006

Mahram Bilqis (Awam Temple)
4 km to the southeast of Marib Village
Ma'rib

Great Dam of Marib

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "The Old Dam and the New Dam"

Quote:
The Great Ma’rib Dam, built around BC800 by the Sabaeans is unusual amongst the ancient monuments of Ma’rib in so much as it seems to be the only one that everybody agrees about. So, this should be pretty straightforward then. Ma’rib is located in Wadi Adhana which has a water catchment area of over 10,000sq km. Nowadays water is supplied by pump wells but back in the good old BC800s irrigation water was dependent on the frequency and level of flash floodwater reaching the Ma’rib area along the wadi. About 8km SE of town the wadi runs through a gorge and this is where the Sabaeans built a 700m long embankment of mixed materials such as sand (obviously!), rocks, mud and chunks of limestone that eventu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2006

Great Dam of Marib
Valley of Dhana, Balaq Hills
Ma'rib

Ma'rib (Ancient Site)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Old Ma'rib"

Ma'rib (Ancient Site) Photo, Ma'rib, Yemen
Quote:
The reason I went to Ma’rib was because I wanted to see where the Queen of Sheba used to hang out – allegedly. I enjoy a good ruin and although not mind-numbingly awesome, the archaeological sites hadn’t been mind-numbingly dull either and were certainly worth a wander. But I have to confess that it wasn’t the sleek lines and crisp carvings of the partially excavated palaces that did it for me – instead it was the chaotic ruined village of old Ma’rib. Maybe on a bright sunny morning there’s a different atmosphere to the place but in the late afternoon, under a grey overcast sky, there was something haunting about the derelict tower houses silhouetted on the skyline. Situated on a small hill a couple o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2006

Ma'rib (Ancient Site)
3.5 km South of Modern Ma'rib
Ma'rib, Yemen

Mapless in Ma'rib

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
About 15 years ago I worked on a research project in a UK airport asking arriving and departing British passengers to point out on a map where they had come from or were heading to. Mostly holidaymakers, the passengers had all arrived from or were leaving for European destinations. I was gob-smacked at how many people hadn’t a clue, not only about where they were heading for or had arrived from, but also at the number who couldn’t identify the whereabouts of Britain on the world map either. I couldn’t really understand how people could neither know nor even care about where they were. It wasn’t until my trip to Yemen that I came to realise that this isn’t necessarily a bad state to be in. ...Read More