|Commune and town|
Atar (Arabic: أطار, Berber for mountain) is a town in northwestern Mauritania, the capital of the Adrar Region and the main settlement on the Adrar Plateau. It is home to an airport, a museum and a historic mosque, constructed in 1674. As of 2000 it had a population of 24,021.
Today, the Atar is best known to outsiders as an entryway for tourists to visit the ruins of the ancient Moorish cities of Ouadane and Chinguetti. It was a key stop in the world's longest off-road race, the Paris Dakar Rally, held every January.
While the city sits within the Sahara Desert, a nearby water supply of considerable size was recently discovered. An underground river was discovered by Russian scientists using geoinformation to study the topography of the desert with satellites. They were operating at the request of the Mauritanian government. The find has been confirmed by the Mauritanian military. Eventually, the river will provide water enough to support Atar's entire population. . The Terjit oasis is near Atar.
The Adrar's mountains are from the primary era against the precambrian Tiris Zemmour. Near Atar, you can find stromatolites. In the North, you can find Choum with the train that comes from Nouadhibou and goes to Zouerate. East of Atar is the difficult way to Chinguetti, Ouadane and the astonishing Richat Structure.
Small business sector
The "samaras" (from Arab smela : sole) are made in Atar and well known in Mauritania. It's a leather sole with straps.
- Med Hondo - film director (born 1936)
- "Statistiques Demographiques: Résultats du RGPH 2000 des Wilayas". République Islamique de Mauritanie. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
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