capital city of Eritrea

Asmara is the capital city of Eritrea. It is the largest settlement in the country. Asmara has a population of about 579,000 people. Textiles and clothing, meat, beer, shoes, and ceramics are the major industrial products of the city.


ኣስመራ Asmera
Coat of arms of Asmara
Coat of arms
Asmara is located in Eritrea
Location in Eritrea and Africa
Asmara is located in Africa
Asmara (Africa)
Coordinates: 15°19′22″N 38°55′30″E / 15.32278°N 38.92500°E / 15.32278; 38.92500Coordinates: 15°19′22″N 38°55′30″E / 15.32278°N 38.92500°E / 15.32278; 38.92500
 • Mayor of AsmaraSemere Russom
 • Mayor of ZobaTewelde Kelati
 • Capital45 km2 (17 sq mi)
2,325 m (7,628 ft)
 • Capital804,000
 • Density17,867/km2 (46,280/sq mi)
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official nameAsmara: a Modernist City of Africa
CriteriaCultural: ii, iv
Inscription2017 (41st Session)
Area481 ha
Buffer zone1,203 ha


Asmara grew from four villages founded in the twelfth century. It is said that there were four clans living in the Asmara area. The women of these tribes told them men to join together to fight bandits who had been attacking the area. After they defeated the bandits, a new name was given to the place, Arbaete Asmara. This name, in the Tigrinya language, meant the four females united. Arbaete was later dropped and the name was made Asmara.

Opera Theater of Asmara

In 1889, Asmara became an Italian colony. It was made the capital of the country in 1897 and was called Asmara italiana. The city was damaged during earthquakes in 1913 and 1915. During the 1930s, the Italians made many chances to how Asmara looked. Many new buildings were created during this time.

These buildings were built in the same style as Italian buildings. This gave Asmara the look of an Italian city. Today many of the buildings and stores in Asmara still have Italian names.

During World War II, after the defeat of Italy in Africa, Asmara was under British rule. In 1952, the United Nations placed the country and Asmara under Ethiopian control. In the 1960s, the Eritrean people started fighting for independence from Ethiopia.

This bloody war lasted until 1991. Asmara was given back to the Eritrean people on May 24, 1991.

In July 2017 Asmara has been declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

Related pagesEdit


  1. "CIA - The World Factbook". Retrieved 2 September 2012.


  • Francesca Calace. Restituiamo la Storia – dagli archivi ai territori. Architetture e modelli urbani nel Mediterraneo orientale Gangemi editorial Rome, 2012 ISBN 978-88-492-2364-4
  • Giovanni Godoli. Asmara: immagine di una città. Architettura e Potere da Ferdinando Martini all'Impero. Universita' di Firenze. Florence, 2012 ([1])
  • Jochen Visscher. Asmara - The Frozen City Jovis ed. Berlin, 2006 ISBN 978-3-936314-61-8 ([2])