Zabid is one of the oldest towns in Yemen, and it was the country's capital from the 13th to the 15th century. The city played an important role in the Arab and Muslim world for many centuries because of its Islamic university.
Since its foundation in 631 the city developed with fortifications, a network of canals and the Great Mosque was also constructed. Today, the city has no less than 86 mosques.
The city's architecture and the street network is still organised after its early plan, and they are considered an outstanding archaeological site. The Great Mosque. the Citadel and the Asaïr Mosque are the main attractions of the city.
In 2000, Zabid was listed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, because of a UNESCO report showing that "40% of the city's houses have been replaced by concrete buildings, and other houses and the ancient souk are in a deteriorating state". This was meant to be an alarm signal for the government, who has not been taking the right measures for protecting and conserving these buildings.
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