This is Dar al-Hajar, the summer palace of King Imam Yahya who ruled northern Yemen from about the end of World War 1 until he was assasinated in 1948. During his reign he carefully kept his country in the Middle ages.
Dar al-Hajar was built in the 1930's and has become one of the most famous symbols of Yemen. At the time of my visit in 1998 it served as a museum. It probably still does, although there were rumours it would be converted into a hotel. Considering the present situation in Yemen it would have very few guests.
Dar al-Hajar is situated in a fertile and picturesque valley called Wadi Dhahr, roughly 15 km northwest of Sanaa.
I was inspired for the title of this photo by Postcards from the edge, a semi-autobiographical novel by US actress Carrie Fisher, made into a movie by Mike Nichols, featuring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. Neither the book nor the movie had any connection whatsoever to Yemen.
This was scanned from a Kodachrome slide.
Critiques | Translate
TopGeo (38216) 2012-02-26 4:31
Hello Gert! Very, very impressive photo, very atmospheric, with a beautiful architecture! Technically ! Great composition and framing, outstanding light management, wonderful colours! Top quality photo! Congratulations!
batalay (39127) 2012-02-26 4:45
Again, this is a first rate package delivered to Trekearth — an exotic land, an unusual piece of architecture (a "rock sandwich" with the two halves of the building as the bun), and well thought out note. I intend to look up the film, "Postcards from the Edge," if it has such distinguished film maker and actors in its production... even it has nothing to do with this setting. In Netflix we may be able to see a streamed copy. In our "day visit" we spent the entire day in Sanaa at the market. Finally, once again, the image is affirmation of the spectacular quality of Kodachrome film (I assume it is the ISO-64 version, by 1998 it was difficult to find ISO-25, and ISO-200 is a little 'fast' for the brilliant sunlight of Yemen.
dale54 (8112) 2012-02-26 4:52
gert hello,man this is nice!!very good contrast,love the color,super POV!WOW again!tfs! have a great day! dr
bayno (18344) 2012-02-26 4:54
as a good journalist, you have presented very well the whole series of Yemen. This is spectacular, a very unusual architecture, I would say unique, the color is outstanding, and the low POV is of impact, a beautiful sky that contrasts well with the rest of the shades,
have a good sunday,
Sergiom (81703) 2012-02-26 5:04
J'aime beaucoup ce cadrage vertical qui donne une très grande ampleur à ce monument de hauteur.Cela donne un sens spécial à l'expression de grimper à la maison.
diomed (13926) 2012-02-26 5:37
outstanding capture in vertical frame with an exotic architecture in contrast with a wonderful blue sky. Great sharp, excellent POV. NIce Sunday
wolf38 (31296) 2012-02-26 5:54
Hello Gert. Truly a beautiful postcard. The royal palace is architecturally eye-catching first class. But could the ultimate rock palace to protect him, because fighters against the fortress was powerless. Overall, a watchable shot. Rgds, Wolfgang.
dkmurphys (59947) 2012-02-26 7:19
Very artistic vertical capture. An incredible structure in great colors and textures. Well seen, have a lovely evening.
ourania (47048) 2012-02-26 7:50
very impressive way to present this unique palace. It's a wonderful and very interesting photo with superb framing, clarity, colours and contrast. You've managed the inexorable light perfectly. Thank you!
All the best, have a good week,
leo61 (0) 2012-02-26 10:45
Wonderful architecture and a great perspective.
A fantastic scan with many fine details to view!
jjcordier (79297) 2012-02-26 11:01
Même si le haut de la tour est un peu coupé, j'apprécie la photo de cet étonnant palais curieusement perché sur ce rocher. Le scan est de bonne qualité.
carlo62 (49993) 2012-02-26 11:12
un'architettura veramente interessante, molto particolare, non credo ne esistano molte nel suo genere.
yquem46 (38752) 2012-02-26 11:45
Houses of Sanaa, so famous yet so amazing as well !
A nice perspective giving the impression that the rock is sandwiched by the 2 houses
A good scan
have a nice sunday evening
Budapestman (82620) 2012-02-26 11:47
a fantastic architectural photo, the POV is great, the colours and details are splendid, Tfs! Have a nice week! Kellemes hetet kívánok!
yeln (11516) 2012-02-26 13:24
nenavadna zgradba z odličnimi barvami in barvnimi kontrasti iz dežele, ki jo vsi premalo poznamo. vemo samo, da je izredno slikovita in tudi skrivnostna.
zelo lepo delo, čestitam!!!
lep večer, vojko
Sonata11 (33871) 2012-02-26 16:58
what a impressive architecture on the edge. An amazing building, how do they do that. This is fanulous, even I don't know what to say, frunkly I'm speechless. Marvellous job. AWESOME!!!!!! I love it, it is so unuque. Fantastic.
All the best and have a nice new week.
All the best,
emka (99901) 2012-02-26 23:17
Another interesting shot from Yemen. Am azing architecture. How you get there up? I like such building made from the material found nearby, when the rocks and wall have the same colour. Superb contribution.
Royaldevon (39660) 2012-02-27 1:21
Well, Thank you Gert,
I enjoyed your notes and find your shot quite amazing! It's the sort of shot that you feel you are getting neck ache when it is simply flat!
A very competent scan showing all the details and the rule of thirds, from your original shot. Truly a shot that needs to be kept for posterity.
Have a good day,
notrap (6133) 2012-02-27 3:18
stunning architecture! and very funny your title "sommarstuga", it´s so different from scandinavian summer huts. I don´t know the film with Meryl Streep you refer to in your other title. It is a pity that the right upper corner is missing, so I did a workshop to fix it, and hope you don´t mind.
nobuikehonda (3848) 2012-02-27 7:44
This image taken in 1998 is far fresher and livelier than many of the images that we encounter today in 2012. The title speaks of this image as a postcard, but the quality of the image still speaks to us with a most surprisingly engaging visual impact. The top of the museum is out of the frame of this image, under normal circumstances this would have been seen as a default. But in this particular case, it works so well to tell us about the nature of this architecture. The most unusually situated edifice and the perspective, the photo looks as though even with earnest effort one could not put the entire architecture within a frame. I like the presented architecture as well as how this photo is captured in this particular way.
With my very best and kind regards,
Have a very nice week ahead, Gert
saxo042 (37898) 2012-02-27 10:00
This is quite an innovative and creative architecture! First to build a house, on top of that build a mountain and then again build another house on top of this mountain. I have never seen such a building before! Maybe the they could build something like this here in Gothenburg, but I guess they lack this creativity... Still, a very good picture with two main colours in a perfect harmony.
mesutilgim (95498) 2012-02-28 2:22
Another fascinating capture from Yemen, with perfect pov.
The fascade at the lower part is most probably a mudbrick wall, but that of the upper part is stone.
Nice details; but much important, how they could manage to combine this architecture with those massive rocks.
TFS and best regards
Nicou (144200) 2012-02-28 3:22
Quel roocher superbe quel effet de fuyance avec ce ciel pur et limpide avec ce rendu sur la pierre, impressionant cet édiffice sur ce rocher quelle iamge grandisoe effet.
bravo et amitié
sacimar (26607) 2012-02-28 5:33
this is an interesting postcard, I like this vertical composition, the visual effect is great, you had a good idea, well done,
siamesa (28121) 2012-02-28 5:36
Bom dia Gert
Impressive place and an excellent work of digitalization. Oerfect point of view. TFS
Charo (51212) 2012-02-28 15:29
Jag har bara sett detta land i bilder och på tv, men är häpnadsväckande deras höga arkitekturer sedan urminnes tider.
Denna byggnad, bortsett från dess arkitektoniska unika, det är fantastiskt den plats där den byggdes på en stor sten.
Stor vinkel skott, med en lätt och superb detalj.
npecanhuk (75592) 2012-02-28 17:02
Exotic, unique and interesting constructions!
Very attractive picture!
Chosen pov, vertical format, composition, colors, sharpness and exposure really pleased me!
TFS - congrats,
JFS (32459) 2012-02-29 11:43
The visual effect is amazing, I love this unique architecture. Nice warm colors contrasting with vivid blue sky. Thanks!
Waylim (25502) 2012-02-29 22:27
I can see that you struggle to get the whole building on here, and almost got it. Somehow that makes it more impressive the tight crop, it makes it feel overwhelming big. Another good shot from the past, and really interesting building around and on top of the rock.
Really cool, I want to live in it :)
Angshu (56758) 2012-03-02 9:16
This is quite amazing...a large rock mass separates two man made constructions. The mud baked plaster over the bricks, the ornamentation achieved is delicate & you've portrayed that well. Contrast is beautiful against the clear blue sky. Excellent scan quality!
Kielia (24077) 2012-03-02 9:43
Living in the puristic Northern hemisphere I am always overwhelmed by the architecture in the Southern regions. You have captured a spectacular example here. Excellent management of the light and a great perspective. Your note is also very nice. TFS!
Ricx (13495) 2012-03-06 12:14
Hi Gert, This is superb.. what an unusual building. and a great POV.. fascinating note.. Well posted. Ricx
siolaw (38292) 2012-03-07 23:00
The Yemeni architecture is so beautiful and here your original framing adds even another dimension. (The corner is short but notrap is an expert architect!) Strong colours and sharp.
danyy (0) 2012-03-08 4:07
la contre plongée est impressionnante et sa quasi verticalité rend le promontoire tellement plus impressionnant.
Un jeu de couleurs entre ocres et bleus, des ombres qui dessinent le moindre relief. Ce monument méritait une telle photo.
iainsp (2630) 2012-03-09 3:12
Great photograph with a stunning angle and PoV. What really makes it is the building in the foreground - many of us have those upward-pointing shots of buildings on outcrops, but this is fairly special with the sandwiching of the rocks between two sets of buildings.
great work, thanks, Iain
bachapi (369) 2012-03-13 14:52
Incredible shot! Good contrast and wonderful light...
Nard (6972) 2012-03-15 2:03
What a splendid and impressive capture of this typical architecture. It is incredible where this built the house. I like it. Really a country I have to visit.
abmdsudi (55116) 2012-03-22 8:40
Extremely unique architecture, jutting on the rocks so stunningly with attractive details characteristics. This is something I have not seen before, a very impressive structure so well captured in excellent light and rich color tones with sense of depth and height. A real special upload and good TE contributuon, Congrats
i9l2y1m8a8t3 (4814) 2012-03-30 19:13
A photo of excellent quality as it is even scanned! Love the vibrant colors and the vertical format. It's just interesting how the house is built on top of that rock. As to the framing, you could've avoided to get the topmost cut. Anyway, i love the details very much, beautiful exposition!
InasiaJones (31566) 2012-04-03 19:54
Maybe some erosion occurred since you took this photo, but in terms of pixels, it looks fresh and intact.
What a stunning building! I like the idea of framing it tightly, but maybe if was too tight on top, therefore the workshop is useful and shows that it doesn't take much to make it perfect.
kennyblack (4207) 2012-04-04 9:47
Superb image of the building at the top of the rock. Image very well designed and implemented. Beautiful and natural colors of the typical places. Thanks for the post.
Greetings and best wishes for good evening ... Marino
livermore (1631) 2012-11-22 11:58
C'est un édifice vraiment très impressionnant.
La façon dont tu l'as pris en photo, tout en perspective renforce son coté massif et élevé.
zoomer (6) 2013-06-22 14:33
Hi,so imposing and unusual looking with that monumental rock between the buildings.The dark blue sky is a perfect background for the sandstone.all the best,Wolf.
NorthernLight (2383) 2013-10-19 8:14
en imponerande bild av en mycket ovanlig byggnad. Fina färger och ett vackert spel av ljus och skugga.
Mycket vackert och mycket intressant!
Ha en trevlig helg
serp2000 (44560) 2014-04-03 19:19
I don't remember this photo and I am surprised by this view. Outstanding idea for building, good presentation of the Yemen architecture, fine details. I don't know about a postcard with this close-up, I'd like to add some fresh air, more the clear blue sky. but anyway I like this photo. Good presentation!
Best wishes from Eagle Rock!