Asmara, Eritrea: A Forgotten Piece of Italy in Africa

Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea, was an Italian colony between 1890 and 1941. The city was populated by a large Italian community (53,000 of 98,000 inhabitants in 1939), so the architecture is a unique

Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea, was an Italian colony between 1890 and 1941. The city was populated by a large Italian community (53,000 of 98,000 inhabitants in 1939), so the architecture is a unique blend of Italian modernism and Eritrean style. Here are the most amazing examples.

The city center was rebuilt in various styles during the colonial decades: Neo-Romanesque, Late Victorian, Art Deco, Cubist, Rationalist, Novecento and Neo-Baroque, among others.

This Modernist city in Africa was also a dream of Benito Mussolini, because he believed it would become the capital of the Second Roman Empire.

Read More:Asmara- io9.com

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17 COMMENTS
  • The Truth November 8, 2014

    ኣቱም ሰብ – ፋሽሽቲ ጥልያን ኣብ ካልኣይ ውግእ ዓለም ተሳዒሩ ራሕሪሑዋ ስለዝኸደ ግርም ግን ንኣስመራ ኮነ ካልኦት ከተማታት ንባዕሉ ኢሉ ናብ ኢትዮጵያውን መንጠሪ ክገብራ ሰሪሑዋ …… ካልኣይ ውግእ ዓለም. እንተዘይመጽእ ኣበይ ምሃለና ኢልኩምዶ ሓሲብኩም ትፈልጡ? “Piece of Italy in Africa”? ሎሚውን ኣብ ኣምልኾ ፋሽሽቲ ጥልያንን ሓድግታቱን?

  • ahmed saleh November 8, 2014

    Truth
    Take it easy .
    ” forgotten piece of Italy in Africa ” is part of history of
    colonization era which has nothing to do present Eritrea.

  • Tamrat Tamrat November 8, 2014

    I have seen the Picture of the beautifull Asmara from derg time upto now and i noticed the followings:

    1) In tho old time when i saw these pitures they used to look like too modern and always many people romming around. Now they look like Century old Cinima ethiopia and Tayitu Hotell area without off course not a single person around.

    2) Ethiopian did not destroy Eritrea because they believe Eritrea is part of their home land, they never felt occupier or colonizer. And we will see how shabia leaders give power to eritreans …. soon. ( i will never set my foot in Eritrea before hgdef collpas and i have hundred and one reasons to visit Eritrea one of the most important reason is to see hgdef embarassed for the 24 years embarassment they put all of us in.

    3) Asmara is still the cleanest city. This tells us how the city people are devoted to their city regardless who is sitting in power.

  • Geja November 8, 2014

    The worst insult to Eritrea which was created, mapped and invented by the Italian colonial forces and built by the Fascist mind of the Italians is that we, as Eritreans (named by the Europeans) are unable to maintain what the Italians had built for themselves and left behind when they were kicked out by the British forces in April 1941.
    The biggest insult goes to Ghedli and its ignoramus elites who can not build a better Eritrea, better infrastructure, better architecture, better industry in day and age of 2014 after all the sacrifice paid for nothing.
    The most brilliant and worthy Eritrean mind, ato Yosief Ghebrehiwet – YG – puts this subject matter wonderfully in an original article below:

    • Simon G. November 10, 2014

      ገጀ:
      ን ኤርትራ ጥልያን ካብ ሰረሓ: ነታ ኢትዮጵያኸ መን ሰረሓ ትብል? ባዕሉ ኣምላኽ ኣብ ግዜ ዕረፍቱ ሰሪሑዋ ከይትብለኒ ግን ጥንቅቕ በል።

  • Henok Girmay November 8, 2014

    Asmara’s progress would have been astronomical (like that of Addis) if it had peace with Ethiopia. Obviously Asmara (bella) needs a face lift urgently to the 21st century standard and shape.

    The Truth,
    Well said indeed. The real colonization of the Eritrean mind took place after the Italians left – all in reaction to ‘modernity’, belatedly inspired by the legacy of Italian colonialism. And it was not the fathers that lived through colonial era that abandaned their roots, but the generations born in post-colonial era. For the confused, self doubting post-colonial generations though, to absorb one (modernity), they had to entirely let go of the other one (their roots). The young generation can’t just be fed the history of fascist colonization and ghedli’s heroism in today’s fiercely and competitive world. Time for all to wake up fast and to face up the reality of the 21st century.

  • wasted life November 8, 2014

    I think ,even after our independence ,Ethiopians should have let us sell their coffee ,skin & hides ,crops & sugar. They were not being good neighbours to tell us ,”Since you have your own country,you have to stand on your own”..they should have said ,Ethiopia is for both people ,but Eritrea should only be for Eritreans” ,that is why Eritrea is suffering from almost non excistent resources ,natural or otherwise & bad pfdj governance .
    We need Ethiopia,(without being colonized though)to sell our beer & salt in order to survvive

    • Tamrat Tamrat November 9, 2014

      Eritrea were never colonized by Ethiopia. Never! Never! Until you understand that fact stay away from Ethiopia. If it were colonization why hundred thousands ethiopians soldiers sacrificed themselves from bullets in the desert from front and bullets from shabians hiding among civiliances? Why not evacuate all ‘eritreans’ from Asmara, mitswa, asab and replace it with ‘colonizer’. And then you could have witnessed what could the ‘colonizers’ could have done to protect what they owned or did to what they lost. Regardless the horribleness of the situation created, regardless the horribleness done by derg on both nations we ethiopians have respect for the soldiers sacrifice themselves for the unity of our country.

      This you will come to understand it when part of Eritrea ask for seccestion.

      • Genet-orginal November 12, 2014

        Tamrat Tamrat

        I don’t think you know the whole story about Eritreans people and Ethiopians rulers.
        I don’t blame you, because you are not an Eritrean. During the Ethiopian occupation, Eritreans weren’t allowed to be in the navy. During Ethiopian occupation, many villages were burned to the ground with people inside. Until you understand the pain and suffering of Eritreans, under the colonizers of Ethiopian rulers, stay away from Eritrean issue. By the way, Mengistu Haile mariam actually tried unsuccessfully to resettle Eritreans to Wollega and other south of Ethiopia. He stopped, because it backfired.
        Genet-O

        • Tamrta Tamrat November 13, 2014

          No boody knows the whole story. But millions times repeatitionn of pfdj lies wont make it true. The pains eritreans experienced and the rest of the ethiopians is the same excpet the shabia arm struggel. During arm struggel many bad things happened. I dont want to defend it. But that deosnt make it colonization. Other wise all eritrean ethnic groups were part and parcel of in fighting or helping derg in all level of adminstration be it the nevey, the air force, bankning you name it.

          Either mengistu or Haile Silassie never targeted the majority of eritreans. Their focus was directly to shabia. Did those leaders have the right to do that or not is a sily discussion now. One of the pfdj methods in terrorizing eritreans in Eritrea is this ethiopia ‘colonization’ and horrible story what ehtioia has done to eritreans and look what brings for Eritrea.

          Stick to the facts then you win.

        • Tamrta Tamrat November 13, 2014

          In the king time these were eritrean tigrinya speakers high ranking officers:

          Aman Mickael Andom Lt. General; Esayas Gebre SelassieLt. General; Eyasu Mengesha Lt. General
          I dont want to use more times but i can bring you more if yous top you lie.

          • Genet-orginal November 13, 2014

            Let us just agree on Eritrea and Ethiopia will never be one country. With mutual agreement,we can be a good neighbours. FYI, I don’t really get what you want from Eritreans. As an Ethiopian, you should enjoy your life. Do business in addis.

    • Genet-orginal November 12, 2014

      Wasted
      Eritreans, we don’t need Ethiopia. Believe me, We just need the blood sucker DIA to get out of our country. For 24 years, we haven’t given the chance to take care of our people. There are many countries in the world smaller than Eritrea and they are doing just fine. You said, “Eritrea is suffering from almost non existent resources natural or otherwise..” are you sure about that? Maybe you need to research about the Canadian Mining company and what it had paid the Eritrean people for their natural resources of GOLD. close to one Billion dollars so far. The Eritrean problem is not lack of resources, but a dictator who never had any intention to care for Eritreans or Eritrea. He is there to destroy Eritrea and kill its people. And to say, “See Eritrean can’t gov themselves and Eritrea can’t be anything without Ethiopia” Eritreans, we don’t fall for that.
      Genet-O

  • ahmed saleh November 9, 2014

    What is all about the fuss your are talking to mix things up
    with Ethiopia . Can’t you swallow the truth than revisiting
    past history , In 1997 most our people were beating the drum
    of war in support of Issayas and now after you find out that
    he sold you out to call Ethiopia for rescue . Funny people .

  • Geje November 11, 2014

    dear Simon G,
    Here is for your knowledge. It is a quote:

    “Wings on a rabbit, flapping or not, wouldn’t make it soar high up in the sky; to the contrary, it would mercilessly pin it down to the ground that it wouldn’t even be able to move, let alone run. Education has provided the African elite with such superfluous wings; yet, whenever the occasion arises, they love to show them off by flapping them while rendered immobile by the sheer weight of those epiphenomenal wings. And when a nation is taken under their wings, a whole population finds itself pinned down to the ground – as Eritrea finds itself now.”

    • Simon G. November 11, 2014

      Brother/Sister (Geje),
      But the question was about the countries (Eritrea and Ethiopia) creation. People keep dropping the line about Italian creation country but what about most of the rest of the world?
      Your above comment is correct for most African leaders (including Ethiopia) though, even though I failed to understand how it related to my question.

    • Genet-orginal November 12, 2014

      Geje is YG

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