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Keren

ከረን
City
Keren eritrea.jpg
Sarina Hotel (8383369165).jpg Ditta G De Ponti (8383371867).jpg
Mosque in Keren.jpeg Keren - 2008-11-01.jpg
Joko Keren Stadium (8383371187).jpg Commercial Bank of Eritrea.JPG
Gallery of Keren
Country Eritrea
Region Anseba
District Keren
Elevation
1,590 m (5,220 ft)
Population
 (2016)
 • City 120,000
 • Metro
146,483

Keren (Tigrinya and Tigre: ከረን) and historically known as Sanhit, is the second-largest city in Eritrea. It is situated around 91 kilometres (57 mi) northwest of Asmara at an elevation of 1,390 metres (4,560 ft) above sea-level. The city sprawls on a wide basin surrounded by granitic mountains on all sides. It serves as the capital of the Anseba region, and is home to a number of ethnic groups including the Bilen people, Tigre people and Tigrinya people.

History

Keren grew around the Eritrean Railway to Asmara. The railway was later dismantled because of the war, although there are plans to rebuild it. It is an important commercial centre and was the scene of regular battles in both World War II and the Eritrean War of Independence. Keren was the site of a key battle between Italian and British troops in February – March 1941.

Demographics

As of 2016, Keren has a population of around 120,000 inhabitants. Residents belong to various, mainly Afroasiatic-speaking ethnic groups, of which the Bilen people, Tigre people and Tigrinya people.

Giro Fiori (8384455892)
City scenery in Keren

Climate

Keren has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh), with two main seasons. There is a short monsoonal wet season from June to September and a length dry season covering the rest of the year. Vis-à-vis most hot semi-arid climates in northern Africa like those of Niamey or N'Djamena, Keren's climate is much less extreme due to the city's higher altitude. Nonetheless, in the period between March and mid-June immediately before the wet season begins, afternoon temperatures still average over 33.1 °C (91.6 °F) for around four months. Following the wet season, temperatures remain very warm to hot during the day, but during the mornings become comfortably cool.

Climate data for Keren
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28.4
(83.1)
29.5
(85.1)
31.3
(88.3)
33.5
(92.3)
34.6
(94.3)
33.1
(91.6)
28.9
(84)
27.6
(81.7)
30.4
(86.7)
31.4
(88.5)
29.8
(85.6)
28.8
(83.8)
30.61
(87.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.6
(54.7)
13.1
(55.6)
15.1
(59.2)
16.8
(62.2)
17.9
(64.2)
17.8
(64)
17.6
(63.7)
17.1
(62.8)
16.1
(61)
15.9
(60.6)
15.0
(59)
13.6
(56.5)
15.72
(60.29)
Average low °C (°F) 7.0
(44.6)
7.7
(45.9)
8.8
(47.8)
10.5
(50.9)
12.2
(54)
14.4
(57.9)
16.6
(61.9)
16.1
(61)
13.8
(56.8)
11.6
(52.9)
9.4
(48.9)
8.3
(46.9)
11.37
(52.46)
Rainfall mm (inches) 1
(0.04)
1
(0.04)
3
(0.12)
14
(0.55)
27
(1.06)
44
(1.73)
119
(4.69)
142
(5.59)
42
(1.65)
11
(0.43)
6
(0.24)
1
(0.04)
411
(16.18)
Source: Climate-Data

Attractions

Mariam Dearit Madonna of the Baobab
Madonna of the Baobab. In 1941 Italian soldiers took refuge in the tree from British planes. The tree was hit but the Italians and the shrine survived. It is a popular tourist attraction.

Attractions in the city include the nineteenth century Tigu fort, the St Maryam Deari chapel, lying in a baobab tree, the 1920s former railway station, the old mosque, Sayed Bakri Mausoleum, British Army and Italian Army cemeteries and local markets. The nearby sixth century Debre Sina monastery is also known for its cave dwellings.

Blacksmith Shop (8383370253)
Blacksmith shop in Keren

Districts

The town's outlying subregions include:

  • Elabered
  • Geleb Subregion
  • Hagaz (Hagat)
  • Halhal
  • Melabso

Sister cities

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