Sana'a is the capital of Yemen and the centre of Sana Governorate; however the city itself is not part of the Governorate, but forms the separate administrative district of 'Amanat Al-Asemah'. Sana'a is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. At an altitude of 2,300 metres (7,500ft), it is also one of the highest capital cities in the world. Sana'a has a population of approximately 1,937,500 (2012) making it Yemen's largest city. The old city of Sana'a, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a distinctive visual character due its unique architectural characteristics, most notably expressed in its multi-story buildings decorated with geometric patterns. Sana'a is one of the oldest populated places in the world. According to popular legend it was founded by Shem, the son of Noah. It was known as 'Azal' in ancient times, referring to Uzal, a son of Qahtan who was a great-grandson of Shem.
Contributions by Dr. Blofeld, 126.96.36.199, and 188.8.131.52.