the World Heritage Centre: 29 January 2004
Category of property:
In terms of the categories of cultural property set out in Article 1 of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this is a group of buildings. In terms of the Annex 3 (15, ii, b) of the Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention (2 February 2005), this is a historic town which has evolved along characteristic lines and has preserved, sometimes in the midst of exceptional natural surroundings, spatial arrangements and structures that are typical of the successive stages in their history.
Located in the eastern part of the country on a hilltop at the height of 1885m, the fortified historic town of Harar Jugol is the capital city of the administrative region of Harari in Ethiopia. There are deep gorges on this plateau of a mountain chain surrounded by deserts and savannah. The nominated core zone consists of the entire fortified historic town. The area is a rounded area elongated towards the west. The maximum east-west dimension reaches over l km, and in the north-south dimension ca. 700m. The buffer zone surrounds the core zone to a variable extent. In modern times, the town has developed especially towards the east from the walled city.
At the 29th session the World Heritage Committee (Decision 29 COM 8B.21) referred back to the State Party of Ethiopia the examination of the nomination of Harar Jugol to the World Heritage List on the basis of cultural values ii, iv and v to allow the State Party to supply further detailed information on:
a) the Revision of the Master Plan to include consideration of the proposed ring road and the development of new housing in order to ensure that conservation and preservation are fully integrated into town planning;
b) the levels of protection for the nominated area;
c) the controls, levels of protection and zoning for the proposed enlarged buffer zone;
d) a defined management system or management processes to allow the city to develop in a sustainable way with respect to its outstanding universal value;
e) the archaeological context of the property;
f) the justification of the possible application of criterion iv [in order to further demonstrate the uniqueness of the Harari house type] as well as ii and v; and
g) the impact study of the infrastructure projects;
The State Party submitted complementary information on 30 January 2006.
Date of the Technical Evaluation Mission: 1-8 November 2004
Dates of request for additional information and of receipt from State Party: None
Consultations: ICOMOS has consulted its International Scientific Committees on Historic Towns and Villages and on Vernacular Architecture.
Literature: Two books have been recently published on Harar Jugol: P. Revault and S. Santelli (eds.), Harar, a Muslim City of Ethiopia, Maisonneuve et Larose, 2004; Harari People National State and Embassy of France, Harar, Cultural Guide, Addis Ababa, 2006 (in Amharic, English, French).
Date of ICOMOS approval of this report: 10 April 2006
3. THE PROPERTY
The historic town of Harar Jugol is located in the southern part of Ethiopia at the extreme North of the basin of the river Wabi Shebele. The core zone (48ha) of the nominated property consists of the entire historic walled city of Jugol. The buffer zone forms a protection zone extending ca 800m to the south and 1700m to the east, while on the west side it is narrow being confined with the new town of Harar.
Harar Jugol is the fourth of the sacred towns of Islam, and it is the center of an Islamic region within the otherwise Christian Ethiopia. The Harari people speak a Semitic language related to Arabic. Harar Jugol has also been a powerful trading center. The historic town consists of a traditionally functioning community, forming a complex social-environmental whole, where each element has its symbolic and/or practical significance. The town is the centre of an agricultural area, and has been interdependent with it until recently. The name ‘Jugol’ refers to the defense wall as well as to the fortified town area. The inhabitants also refer to the town as ‘ge’. The surrounding agricultural area is called ‘ge-fage’, and the fallow land outside is ‘gaffa’, where there are a series of small villages.
The social organization of the town is managed using two separate traditional systems which are complementary:
a) The afocha are neighborhood associations formed by men and women separately, each with