Keren (formerly Cheren) is the second largest city in Eritrea, lying north west of Asmara. It is the capital of the Anseba province and home of the Bilen tribe. As of 2005, the population of this city has been estimated to be 86,483.
The city grew around an Eritrean Railway to Asmara, now dismantled (although there are plans to rebuild). It is an important commercial centre and was the scene of regular battles in both World War II and the Eritrean War of Independence. Keren was the site of a key battle between Italian and British troops in 1941.
Attractions in the city include the Tigu nineteenth century Egyptian fort, the St Maryam Dearit chapel, lying in a baobab tree, the 1930s former railway station, the old mosque, Said Bakri Mausoleum, British Army and Italian Army cemeteries and local markets. The nearby sixth century Debre Sina monastery is known for its cave dwellings.
The town's outlying districts include: