Asmara | A Hidden Architectural Gem

Aptly, the first post for Another Africa should be about the city of Asmara where the seed for the project found nurturing ground.  I was amazed to find out that along with Tel Aviv,  Miami South Beach and Napier, Asmara has one of the worlds largest collections of modernist and art deco architecture.

Though the city is in decay the buildings still speak elegantly of their former glory.

Cinema Impero on Harnet Avenue

Cinema Impero on Harnet Avenue.

Cinema Impero - Cafe

Cafe at Cinema Impero on Harnet Avenue.

Asmara Swimming Pool originally called Piscina Asmara on Via Bottego

Asmara Swimming Pool originally called Piscina Asmara on Via Bottego.

Asmara Swimming Pool originally called Piscina Asmara on Via Bottego

Asmara Swimming Pool originally called Piscina Asmara on Via Bottego.

Asmara Swimming Pool - Exterior View

Asmara Swimming Pool – Exterior View

Fiat Tagliero on Mereb Street Sematat Avenue

Fiat Tagliero on Mereb Street Sematat Avenue.

Fiat Tagliero Service Station

Fiat Tagliero on Mereb Street Sematat Avenue.

For a little insight into the city, read Jeffrey Gettleman’s editorial piece from The New York Times titled  Recalling La Dolce Vita in Eritrea(Oct 2008). If you have a keen interest in the architectural history of the city the book Asmara: Africa’s Secret Modernist City is the perfect read. More images from this book to come soon. In the meantime, a selection of some of my favorite buildings.

 

[Imgs courtesy of Acasad]

Last but not least, for those of you curious about where exactly Asmara is located on the African continent.

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