Harar was established by Sultan Abu Beker Mohammed in 1520. Harar, the Holy City of Ethiopia’s Muslim community, is believed to be the forth-holiest city after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. The old City Wall of Harar is the main attraction and symbol of Islamic architecture. Harar has approximately 90 mosques, which form the largest concentration of mosques in the world. One of Harar’s main attractions is the hyena man who feeds hyenas on the outskirts of the town every night.
Harar is a walled city which stands on the eastern wall of the Great Rift Valley. The city location gives wonderful views of the surrounding country, the vast Danakil desert to the north, the fertile Harar Mountains to the west and the cattle rich Oganden plains to the south. Harar was a fiercely religious city and was a forbidden city (closed to visitors) until 1887 when Menelik restored central rule .with its 99 mosques, including the 16th century grand mosques with its beautiful twin towers and slender minaret, it is considered to be the fourth most holy city in Islam after Mecca,Medina and the dome of the rock in Jerusalem .
Attractions; Medhane Alem church excellent examples of traditional regional art, the community museum have displays was of life in earlier times. The 16 century grand mosque, women are not permitted inside the mosque. The vibrant market place is regarded as one of the most colorful in all Ethiopia.
Ras mekonin’s house is where Haile Selassie spent most of his childhood. The Amhar Mountains around harar produce some of the best coffee in Ethiopia. Harar is famed for its silversmiths, and there are beautiful necklaces, bracelets and chains to be found in the market . The basketry is also impressive. There are two colorful markets in Harar , the Christian and the Muslim ,which are separated from one another.
The hyena Men of Harar collect offal and bones to feed to the wild hyenas usually about 100 meters outside the fallena Gate of the old city walls of the town . Hyenas appear just after sunset to take food from their hands .there is a charge for watching the display starts about 1900 finishing at about 2000.