Old Towns of Djenné

Islamic Archaeological Sites

Renown for its distinctive adobe architecture in Mali, these remarkable towns is home to the Great Mosque of Djenné, the largest mud-built structure in the world.

The Old Towns of Djenné comprises four archaeological sites, namely Djenné-Djeno, Hambarkétolo, Kaniana and Tonomba, along with Djenné. Located in central Mali, these towns are known as the Djenné Circle. Djenné, the chief town of the Djenné Circle, was the major market and center of Islamic learning and pilgrimage.

A world heritage site, the Old Towns of Djenné has nearly 2,000 pre-Islamic mud houses that have been inhabited since 250 B.C. The town of Djenné only really grew to prominence during the 15th and 16th centuries when, alongside Timbuktu, it was an important center in the trans-Saharan gold trade.

The most famous building apart of Old Towns of Djenné is The Great Mosque of Djenné. It is the largest mud-built structure in the world, and dominates the large market square of Djenné, and is the most prominent symbol of both the city of Djenné, and the nation of Mali. The Great Mosque is considered to be the greatest achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style with definite Islamic influences.

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LocationOld Towns of Djenné
Inland Delta of the Niger River
Central Mali

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