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kerenCapital and administrative centre of the Anseba region, Keren is one of the most well known cities in the Anseba region. This beautiful city is located 9, km Northwest from Asmara, and is about two and a half hours drive by bus. Keren is a trading centre with a crossroads of many languages, family groups and religions; the camel caravans, the Turkish style mosque, the inhabitants dressed in turbans and caftans are reminiscent of the Middle East. The town of Keren was also the site of heavy military engagements between the British and the Italians during the Second World War. The Italian cemetery with its beautifully marked gravestones of the perennial bougainvillea is also a place worthy of a visit.

A 20 minutes walk past the Italian cemetery will bring you to the most prominent shrine of St Mary of Da'arit popularly known as Mariam Da'arit. The shrine is inside a large Baobab grotto, which was inaugurated by the fifth Vicar Apostolic Msgr Touvier on 18, July 1881. Further to the south is the market area on every Monday mornings. There is a very interesting camel wood market that attracts people from all corners of the region. Across the centre of the market there runs a short street that does not seem to be a crowded as the rest of the streets in the area.

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