Category Archives: Mali ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฑ

Tomb of Askia

The dramatic 17-m pyramidal structure of the Tomb of Askia was built by Askia Mohamed, the Emperor of Songhai, in 1495 in his capital Gao. It bears testimony to the power and riches of the empire that flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries through its control of the trans-Saharan trade, notably in salt and gold. It is also a fine example of the monumental mud-building traditions of the West African Sahel. The complex, including the pyramidal tomb, two flat-roofed mosque buildings, the mosque cemetery and the open-air assembly ground, was built when Gao became the capital of the Songhai Empire and after Askia Mohamed had returned from Mecca and made Islam the official religion of the empire.

Since 2004 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Phil for the postcard.

mali - askia

Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons)

The Bandiagara site is an outstanding landscape of cliffs and sandy plateaux with some beautiful architecture (houses, granaries, altars, sanctuaries and Togu Na, or communal meeting-places). Several age-old social traditions live on in the region (masks, feasts, rituals, and ceremonies involving ancestor worship). The geological, archaeological and ethnological interest, together with the landscape, make the Bandiagara plateau one of West Africa’s most impressive sites.

Since 1989 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Phil for the postcard.

mali - cliff

Old Towns of Djennรฉ

Inhabited since 250 B.C., Djennรฉ became a market centre and an important link in the trans-Saharan gold trade. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it was one of the centres for the propagation of Islam. Its traditional houses, of which nearly 2,000 have survived, are built on hillocks (toguere) as protection from the seasonal floods.

Since 1988 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Phil for the postcard.

mali - djenne

Timbuktu

Home of the prestigious Koranic Sankore University and other madrasas, Timbuktu was an intellectual and spiritual capital and a centre for the propagation of Islam throughout Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its three great mosques, Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahia, recall Timbuktu’s golden age. Although continuously restored, these monuments are today under threat from desertification.

Since 1988 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Ali for the postcard.

mali - timbuktu