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Destination Details

Dekemhare, Eritrea

Dekemhare (also: Decemhare), a rural town 40 kilometers south of Asmara, was the favorite settlement of the Italians, because of its mild climate and fertile soil. Dekemhare was originally designed to be the industrial center and transport hub of Eritrea. It was one of the primary agricultural areas for the Italians, where they grew grapes for their wine and many other fruits and vegetables beside. The Red Sea General Mills, a biscuit factory and the Dekemhare pasta factory are examples of the last reminiscence of extensive agricultural and light industry found in Dekemhare.

The northern part of Dekemhare is where the native population lived in the colonial days, is the bustling heart of the town, with its shops, boutiques, barbers, bus station and the old market. To the south of the city park, the cinema and the administration buildings, lie the former Italian apartment buildings, where grapes still adorn many balconies. Bougainvillea and jacarandas abound.

Dekemhare was the scene of the first major military actions of the Eritrean liberation forces in December 1962, after Ethiopia's annexation of Eritrea and suffered through several skirmishes and offensives during the last major battle of the war of liberation that began at Dekemhare on May 19th 1991.

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