The Aden water tanks in Tawila gorge

The Aden water tanks or Cisterns of Tawila are a symbol of the long and varied history of this city. The city of Aden locates on the Gulf of Aden in the south of Yemen. Parts of the city are located on a peninsula shaped by an extinct volcano. The old part of the city is called the Crater district. Of course, the location is the volcano crater on the peninsula.

The volcano rim forms the Shamsan Mountains. The peak is called Jebel Shamsan. With 555 m the highest point around Aden. From northwest to southeast the crater still exists and is visible from afar. However, on the opposite, the crater is open in the direction of the Indian Ocean.

Besides the main function of the cisterns in ancient, they are back in focus. Today they have a lot of attention. The cisterns frequently visited by locals and tourists as well. Especially on weekends families come here for a walk around.

The Shamsan Mountains are a rocky and craggy landscape. The Tawila gorge is a natural gorge. However, the gorge has been shaped from volcano lava. The gorge locates in the southeast of Aden’s oldest district Crater. The lower end is called water tanks or the Cisterns of Tawila. Only this end is handmade. The cisterns have a long history. Of 53 cisterns only 13 still exist today.

Aden’s cisterns hewed into the natural environment of the volcanic rock. In addition, at the tail end, walls made from bricks, bridges and walkways have been constructed. Actually, the facility is a water reservoir. Constructed by linked tanks of various shapes and capacities. Finally, the Aden water tanks impede that rain collected from the crater sloops flow through the Wadi Tawila. The tanks not only protected Aden from floods. Anyway, they are used as water storage in the dry season.

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