Hajjah is about 127km northwest of Sanaa. Most of it is in the mountain range and the rest in the Tihama coastal plain.
The town of Hajjah
The town of Hajjah is the center of the Governorate. The town is on top of a mountain 1800 m above sea level.
It is surrounded by the mountains of Al-Sharaqi Maswar and Bait Adhaqa from the south and Kohlan mountain from the east.
Hajjah overlooks areas of Bani Qays, Wadi Mawr and Tihamah from the west, towering over Hajjah are the mountains of Al Shaghderah and Najrah from the southwest. The mountains of Al-Dhafeer and Mabyan from the north and the mountain of Maswar, (Tukhla) is considered one of the highest peaks in Hajjah (3000m above sea level).
The town of Hajjah is among the most fortified mountainous strongholds in Yemen. Imam Ahmed chose it as a stronghold in the wake of the assassination of his father Imam Yahya, in 1948. From there he led the tribes to restore the rule of his father He also built Sadan Palace, safeguarded by Al-Kahirah Citadel, Al Dhaherayn and Numan. In its courtyard Imam Ahmed executed many leaders of Yemen, following the Revolution of 1948. Those who were spread execution were incarcerated in the terrible prisons of Nafi Washha and Al Kaherah.
The number of historical Citadels and fortresses in Hajjah is more than that of any other Governorate among of which are:
Kawkaban Hajjah-Qawdom, Mabyan, Al-Jahili, Al-Dhafeer Al Nasirah and Kuhlan Affar. Al-Dhafeer was reputed as intellectual and Quranic school during the 9th and 10th centuries AH (15 the and 16th Centuries AD). It is home for the tombs of Imam Ahmed Ibn Yahya Al Murtadha the author of the authoritative books Al-Bahr Al-Zakkar and Al Azhar and his grandson Imam Sharaf Al-Deen Bin Shams Al Deen Bin Ahmed Bin Yehya Al-Murtadah
Kohlan Affar Citadel
About 85km from Sanaa and 2500m above sea level, it is one of the most fortified ancient Citadels in Yemen. As evidenced by its foundations, fortifications, defensive towers and cisterns for water supply for the defenders. Imam Ahmed built a retreat in its grounds . This citadel is the most ideal fortification in Hajjah
A weekly market is held on Monday in Kohlan affar region.
It overlooks Hajja from the eastern side, it was established during the first Ottoman rule of Yemen.
Ottoman influences are clearly visible in the architecture of both the Citadel and the older houses of the town. The Citadels a huge fenced structure naturally fortified from all directions. It has only one entrance and many old water cisterns during the rule of Imam Ahmed (1948-1962) the Citadel turned into a dreaded prison. Today it is a tourist attraction.
The Tourist Mountainous Regions in Hajjah are:
AL-Sharafain Mountain Range It is a big range located to the north west of Hajjah. They include the citadels of Al-Mahabesha, Shahil, Qufi, Kohlan and Kohlan Al-Sharaf . They are fortified citadels 2500m above sea level.
Washha Mountain Range They are parallel to al-Sharafain mountain range in the north. The most important peaks are Al-Muwashah, Al-Qara and Qoushar mountains, with average altitude of 2500 m above sea level.
The mountainous region around Hajjah province with all its wadis, beautiful agricultural terraces and hanging villages are all of a remarkable architectural style.
They are among the most beautiful places for hiking, mountain climbing hanging bird and botanic watching.
The coastal plain of Hajjah With many points of interest to tourists, such as the villages of thatched huts, along the Hajjah Haradh road, some of which are along Wadi Mawr . These villages and towns are particularly beautiful as they are peculiar to the prevalence in the mountainous area as the architecture material is of thatches exactly like African Style oval huts that are lavishly decorated on the inside. The most beautiful of these villages are in Abss Area.
There are many handicraft products in Hajjah Province, mountains and plains alike, among them are elaborately-made palm-straw rimless hats
(Khayzarn). These hats fetch high prices owing to the long hours of labour needed to make each one. These hats are chiefly made in Al-Mahabeshah, 70 km northwest of Hajjah.
Customs Traditional and Folk Arts
The customs, traditional and daily lifestyle show great diversity among the mountain and plain community and from region to region. The diversity is in clothing, generally Jambiah, Khayzaran hats and straw hats. Dance and music also show the difference among these communities. That diversity can best be seen in the weekly souq which form important tourist destinations particularly on the coastal plain.
The most Famous Mountains and forts in Hajjah:
Hajjah Mountain, (Kawkaban Hajjah Fort)
Qadam Fort, Mabayan, Al Jahli, Al Dhafeer and they are branches of Maswar Mountain in the northern direction and the highest of them are the Sharaqi mountains which rise 2500m above sea level. AL Jahli.
Kohlan chain of Mountains, Qaidan Mountain which is located to the west of Kohlan and holds archaeological sites. It rises 2500 m above sea level.
Aafar Mountain, it has got ancient relics and a historical fort called Kohlan Aafar which comprises of a castle and premises dating back to more than 40 years. As for the walls of the fort, it looks from their foundation that they are old. It rises 2500 above sea level.
Sharafain Chain of Mountains, it is a big chain located to the northwest of Hajjah which there are the western mountains of Hajoor. On those mountains there are many forts, the most important of which are:
Al Shahel Fort, Al Qawfl Fort, Kohlan Al-Sharaf Fort, Al Miftah Fort, Aslam Fort. They are fortified forts whose height is more than 2500 m above sea level.
Washahah Chain of Mountains, they are a group of Mountains paralleling Al Sharafain Mountains. From the northern direction and they include Mawshah Mountains, Qarah and Kishir. They are a chain of mountains southerly and westerly of Mawshah . There are chains of mountains paralleling Washaha and Al Mair extending till the territory of Khowlan Bani Aamir in the northeast.