the Djenne Mali masjid (Great Mosque of Djenné) to show his country’s beautiful legacy. The mosque in the city of Djenne is known as the world’s biggest mud-built structure and “the greatest achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architecture.” Mali is also where the fabled Timbuktu can be found.
The Great Mosque of Djenné is a large banco or adobe building that is considered by many architects to be one of the greatest achievements of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style. The mosque is located in the city of Djenné, Mali, on the flood plain of the Bani River. The first mosque on the site was built around the 13th century, but the current structure dates from 1907. As well as being the centre of the community of Djenné, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Africa. Along with the “Old Towns of Djenné” it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.
The actual date of construction of the first mosque in Djenné is unknown, but dates as early as 1200 and as late as 1330 have been suggested. The earliest document mentioning the mosque is Abd al-Sadi’s Tarikh al-Sudan which gives the early history, presumably from the oral tradition as it existed in the mid seventeenth century. The tarikh states that a Sultan Kunburu became a Muslim and had his palace pulled down and the site turned into a mosque. He built another palace for himself near the mosque on the east side His immediate successor built the towers of the mosque while the following Sultan built the surrounding wall.
There is no other written information on the Great Mosque until the French explorer René Caillié visited Djenné in 1828 and wrote “In Jenné is a mosque built of earth, surmounted by two massive but not high towers; it is rudely constructed, though very large. It is abandoned to thousands of swallows, which build their nests in it. This occasions a very disagreeable smell, to avoid which, the custom of saying prayers in a small outer court has become common.