City (pop., 2002 est.: 500,600), capital of Eritrea. It lies on the northern tip of the Ethiopian Plateau at an elevation of 7,628 ft (2,325 m). Its Red Sea port, Massawa, is 40 mi (65 km) northeast. Formerly a hamlet of the Tigre people, Asmara became the capital of the Italian colony of Eritrea in 1900. It was under British control from 1941 until Eritrea's federation with Ethiopia in 1952 and became the capital of independent Eritrea in 1993. It is an agricultural marketplace.