Harar is one of Ethiopia’s oldest cities; founded in the first half of the 16th century A.D. The fortified historic town of Harar is located in the eastern part of the country on a plateau with deep gorges surrounded by deserts and savannah. The 5 meters-high walls surrounding this sacred Muslim city were built between the 13th and 16th centuries by an Emir, in response to the migrations northwards of the Oromo. This Harar walls’, protecting the capital city of a vast Muslim kingdom in the 16th century is inscribed by UNESCO in the year 2000. Harar, said to be the fourth holiest city of Islam after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines, but the townhouses with their exceptional interior design constitute the most spectacular part of Harar's cultural heritage.
The major attractions of the walled-city of Harar include Museums, traditional Harari houses with the lively, friendly and stimulating environments, the late-Emperor Haile Selassie’s childhood home, the exciting open market that presents a medley of people and cultures, the Rimbaud House named - after the French poet who stayed there in 1880, the hyena man of Harar who collect offal and bones to feed to the wild hyenas.
The historic Muslim and Christian markets in Harar are considered unique attractions as well as the Hyena Man who puts a remarkable show of feeding the hyena with meat.