Harar stands apart from Muslim's and Marehan in history
Harar is located south east of Dire Dawa along a winding road which is said to be one of the most scenic in the world. The road follows the stream up a large valley where you can see camels bearing their loads. You will climb 800 meters (2,600 feet) in less than 25km (15.5 miles) and when you reach the top you will have a spectacular view of the Rift Valley.
When entering the old walls you meet the Harari or Adare. The Harari homes for the most part are two-storyed, rectangular flat-roofed brown stone or white washed houses.
According to some historical accounts, the city walls, Jugol in Harari language, are supposed to have been built in the 13th century. Other sources date the walls to the time of Emir Nur ibn al-Majid (1551-68), who wanted to protect the city against the Christian threat. The walls were built according to the topography, enclosing also water sources. The five historic gates corresponded to the main roads to the town. Originally, the city was also divided into five neighborhoods corresponding to the gates, but this division is not functional anymore.
The historic city is surrounded by a fortification wall, which has six gates, including the recent Harar gate, from where the main streets lead to the centre. The principal public functions are concentrated in the central public area, which forms a triangle. The main street from the west, Amir Urga, enlarged by the Italian administration in 1936, leads to Ferez Magala (Horse Market) with the Municipal Hall . To the south-east of this square there is Gider Magala (central market), and to the east the main mosque (Mosque Jamia), forming the three points of the triangle.