Asmara – Africa’s Modernist City became UNESCO World Heritage site
Asmara, the Eritrea’s capital, inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage site at the 41 session of the World Heritage Committee that took place in Karkow, Poland, on 7 July 2017 in recognition of its outstanding Modernist architecture.
Asmara is a living museum of Modernist Architecture and a wonderful timepiece. Many of the buildings, erected in the futuristic, cubist or rationalistic style during the 1930’s - in the days of Mussolini's unsuccessful campaign to create a second Roman Empire - have been preserved and dominate the cityscape of Asmara.
Once known as "Little Rome" (Picolla Roma, in Italian), Eritrea's capital Asmara boasts buildings unlike anywhere else in Africa, a legacy of its Italian colonial past when architects were given free reign for structures judged too avant-garde back home.
Some of these include Old Imperial Palace, the Fiat Tagliero building, Benito's old party headquarters (currently the Ministry of Education main office), the fabulously detailed old Opera house (now Cinema Asmara), the main Post Office, the Roman Cathedral, the colorful Market squares, the Grand Mosque, the Orthodox Cathedral and the list could go on.
In addition, its range of hotels, restaurants, outdoor cafes and its cool and year round pleasant climate ‘ever sunshine’ are major highlights that enchanted many tourists. Above all, by virtue of its peaceful atmosphere and accommodating residents, it has become a magnet for the influx of tourists.
Lonely Planet, World’s noted travel website, also named Asmara, as world’s 4th and Africa’s 1st best comeback city for 2 consecutive years, 2011 & 2012.