Sana or San'a (both: sŏnäˈ) [key], city (1994 pop. 954,448), capital and largest city of Yemen. The city lies inland on a high plain (alt. 7,250 ft/2,210 m) and is connected to the Red Sea port of Hodeida by road. Sana is an Islamic cultural center, and there is a Muslim university, other institutions of learning, and many mosques. It is a commercial and marketing center and is noted for the grapes grown nearby. Sana has been settled from pre-Islamic times; much of its ancient city wall remains. It was under Ethiopian control in the 6th cent. In the 17th cent. and again from 1872 to 1918 it was occupied by Turkey. After 1918, when Yemen's independence was reestablished, Sana became its capital. The capital was moved to Taiz in 1948, but returned to Sana in 1962 at the founding of the Yemen Arab Republic. Upon unification with Southern Yemen in 1990, it became capital of the new, unified Republic of Yemen.
See L. J. Rose, Sana'a: City of Contrast (1981).
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