Ras Tafari's House & Sherif Harar City Museum


Close to Rimbaud’s House, the conspicuous Ras Tafari’s House was built by an Indian trader and many of its features, such as the Ganesh carving above the door, are Eastern in origin. Haile Selassie spent his honeymoon here: hence the house bears his precoronation name. It’s now home to a well-organised museum that houses a private collection of weaponry, coins, jewellery, household tools, old manuscripts and cultural dress. The owner will probably offer to show you his book-restoration workshop upstairs.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Harar attractions

1. Mekina Girgir

0.03 MILES

Leading southeast from Feres Magala, this narrow, atmospheric street is jam-packed with tailors’ workshops, which is how it came to be called ‘Sewing…

2. Arthur Rimbaud Center

0.04 MILES

Near the middle of the walled city, and often mistakenly called Rimbaud’s House, is this museum dedicated to French poet Arthur Rimbaud with a series of…

4. Gidir Magala

0.06 MILES

Gidir Magala (previously known as the Muslim market) is the main market and the city’s biggest butchery. Watch how the locals hide their meat purchases…

5. Tomb of Said Ali Hamdogn

0.07 MILES

Said Ali Hamdogn was an important 12th-century religious leader. His whitewashed tomb can easily be visited; it looks a little like a miniature mosque…

6. Medhane Alem Cathedral

0.07 MILES

On the east side of Feres Megala is this rather unimpressive cathedral, built by Ras Makonnen in 1890 on the site of an Egyptian mosque.

7. Ras Makonnen’s Palace

0.08 MILES

Don’t expect a fairy-tale castle. This late-19th-century ‘palace’ is a sharp-edged, charmless building. You can climb to the top floor and soak up the…

8. Harar National Museum

0.08 MILES

This modest museum across the road from Ras Makonnen’s Palace hosts household artefacts, traditional costumes, weapons and jewellery.