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Walking around a World Heritage City – 2020


Walking around a World Heritage City

The only World Heritage cityscape has a peaceful atmosphere and is relieved. The big attraction is that you can walk alone without worrying about safety. Maybe safer than Rwanda.

Walking around a World Heritage City
In the Eritrean Orthodox Church in the capital, Asmara, believers wearing traditional costumes were gathered = photographed by Tomoaki Nakano on May 26

Why is Eritrea packed with Italian architecture? What I saw when I was walking around a World Heritage City

Traveling around Africa

People wearing traditional costumes and praying in the Eritrean Orthodox Church in the capital Asmara = May 26, photographed by Tomoaki Nakano

Eritrea in eastern Africa, sometimes called “North Korea in Africa.” It is not known, but many Italian-style buildings still exist because of its long rule in Italy. In this second part of the mysterious Eritrea, we will cover the cityscape of the capital Asmara, which has been designated a World Heritage Site.

It was around 1890 that Italy, like other powers, colonized the country as a base for expansion into Africa.

Until 1941 a church, cinema and bank were built in Asmara and were called “the Second Rome” and “Little Rome”. In 2017, it was named World Heritage as “African Modernist City”.

The main street in the center of Asmara is the Catholic Cathedral. In Asmara, where there are few tall buildings, the clock tower is a sign of a walk. Nearby is the Eritrean Orthodox Church. Both came on Sundays with worship, so many followers prayed.

Catholic cathedral on the avenue of Asmara, Eritrea’s capital. It was also a meeting place for locals = May 25, Takashi Ishihara

The gas station building, designed by an Italian architect, is an airplane. It is full of playful illness, but it looks like both wings can collapse, so they are currently closed. On the way from Asmara, at an altitude of more than 2,000 km, to Massawa, in the eastern part of the lower elevation, camel riders slowly descended down the road between the mountains.

Gas station with aircraft type. Sorry for not working now = May 26, Takashi Ishihara, Asmara, Eritrea’s capital
Boys riding camels from Eritrea’s capital Asmara on their way to Massawa in the east = Takashi Ishihara on May 26

If you are tired of visiting world heritage sites, it is a good idea to visit coffee shops throughout the city. Drink coffee or tea and take a break like the locals. Looking at the street from the store, Japanese cars from the 80s were still driving today. In some cars, the wipers did not work and the rear covers did not open, but it felt like it matched the landscape with the old buildings.