Earth Building Architecture in Mali
Earth building architecture in Mali
According to indexdotcom, the traditional clay building architecture in Mali is mainly located around the Bandiagara plateau southeast of Mopti. The Dogon people maintain this architecture to the present day. Earth building is particularly suitable for the hot, dry areas of the African savannah landscapes.
As an open space, the savannah is exposed to the sun without protection. The climate is characterized by high pressure weather conditions with a short rainy season from July to September and strong temperature fluctuations between day and night.
Clay, which is abundant and therefore cheap and easy to process, can be used as a building material. Clay protects against both the sun and the cold at night: the walls, which heat up during the day, release the stored heat at night, and during the day they cool the interior. The adobe buildings are aligned in such a way that they offer protection against the shallowly falling morning and evening sun. In addition, the settlements are built in such a way that the houses can shade each other.
One of the most important settlements for the traditional clay architecture of the Dogon is Djenné. Most of the houses date from the 16th and 17th centuries; There are hardly any modern buildings today. The city’s architectural showpiece is the mosque (Grand Mosqué). The ruler Amadu Hammadi Bubu had the previous building from the 15th century destroyed in 1815. Today’s mosque was built between 1906 and 1909 under French colonial rule based on the example of the old mosque in traditional construction. Its front length is 150 m and there is space for around 3,000 worshipers. The wooden beams protruding from the walls serve less for decoration than for a practical purpose: When it rains, the façades of the adobe buildings are damaged because the moisture softens the adobe. Workers, those who repair the damage use the rungs as handles and ladders. The repair scaffolding is built into the buildings at the same time.
In 1989, UNESCO declared the architecture of the Dogon in Mali a World Heritage Site.
World Heritage Sites in Mali
World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)
- City of Djenné and remains from pre-Islamic times (K; 1988)
- Mosques, mausoleums and cemeteries of Timbuktu (K; 1988)
- Bandiagara Rocks and Dogon Culture (K / N; 1989)
- Askia tomb mosque (K; 2004)
Askia Tomb (World Heritage)
The pyramid-shaped royal tomb of Askia Mohamed Touré is a testimony to the wealth and power of the Songhai Empire in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was built in 1495 from unfired adobe bricks in Gao, the capital of the Songhai Empire.
Askia Tomb: Facts
|Official title:||Askia tomb|
|Cultural monument:||Pyramid-shaped royal tomb made of unfired clay bricks, 17 m high; Erected in 1495 by Askia Mohamed (ruler of Songhai) in his capital, Gao; also, among other things, two mosques and a cemetery|
|Location:||Gao on Niger, southeast of Mali|
|Meaning:||Exceptional testimony to the wealth and power of an African empire in the 15th and 16th centuries due to the trade in salt and gold|
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