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Keren, Eritrea

Related subjects: Africa; Cities

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View of Keren
Keren, Eritrea is located in Eritrea
Location in Eritrea
Coordinates: 15°47′N 38°27′E
Country Flag of Eritrea.svg Eritrea
Region Anseba
District Keren City District
Population (2005)
 • Total 86,483

Keren (formerly Cheren) is the second largest city in Eritrea, lying north west of Asmara. It is the capital of the Anseba province and home of the Bilen tribe. As of 2005, the population of this city has been estimated to be 86,483.The city is integrated with different types of tribes, Bilen and Tigre are the dominant. It has two high schools, St. Josephs and Keren Secondary School. Its climate is semi-desert hot during summer and cold during winter. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.

The city grew around an Eritrean Railway to Asmara, now dismantled (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 1941.

Attractions in the city include the Tigu nineteenth century Egyptian fort, the St Maryam Dearit chapel, lying in a baobab tree, the 1930s former railway station, the old mosque, Said Bakri Mausoleum, British Army and Italian Army cemeteries and local markets. The nearby sixth century Debre Sina monastery is known for its cave dwellings.

The town's outlying districts include:

  • Elabered
  • Hagaz
  • Halhal
  • Melbaso

The town also shares some of the Art Deco architecture that Asmara is well known for on the continent.

Twin cities

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