Thula City Ruins

Ancient himyrite kingdon ruins, included in UNESCO yenative list includes traditional houses, several watch towers, paths, the traditional cistern

Amran, Yemen

Coordinates: 15.575900, 43.903100

Nearby Places

Thula is a town in west-central Yemen. It is located in the ‘Amran Governorate.

Thula is one of five towns in Yemen on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. Dating to the Himyarite period, the town is very well preserved and includes traditional houses and mosques. The archaeological investigation discovered the Sabaean period ruins with massive stone architecture beneath the Himyarite.

Preserved within the historic city are several mosques, mausoleums, an imamate palace, steam rooms, and souks, the latter containing over one hundred stalls, complete with caravanserais. In terms of domestic architecture, the historic city contains nearly six hundred houses, generally storied buildings of three to five floors, constructed tightly alongside neighboring houses. The construction patterns have created narrow alleyways separating one house from another. Many of the homes feature sandstone facades with a wide variety of carved, sculptural friezes.

Preservation and restoration by the local community

Threatened by the disruption that might ensue from the construction of a road, the Thula community, with the help of The Social Fund for Development, has undertaken a series of historic preservation projects to protect cultural assets, including rebuilding the walls of burial grounds and walls of agricultural terraces, restoring the Bab al Mayah gate, watchtowers, paths and waterways, and repairing the cistern that remains in use to this day.

Thula is well-known for artifacts from the Sabaean period and its prototypical massive stone architecture. During the preservation process, an archaeological site was discovered with gates and walls that should provide further insights into the Sabaeans and their civilization.

World Heritage Status

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on July 8, 2002, in the Cultural category.


Image Sources

By Almuhammedi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Almuhammedi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Almuhammedi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Almuhammedi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Ibrahem Qasim – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Ljuba brank – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Ljuba brank – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,