This walled enclosure in San’a, Yemen is where Abraha al-Ashra built an imposing cathedral. Abraha was a Christian ruler of Yemen who wanted to divert Arab pilgrimage from the Ka’bah to his cathedral. He set out with an army (which included elephants) to destroy the Ka’bah but was struck down on the outskirts of Makkah by a hail of stones carried by birds. The story is mentioned in Surah Feel in the Quran.

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