Africa’s Most Spectacular Man-made Attractions

Egypt pyramids

Great Pyramid of Giza ©maltman23/Flickr

Africa means not only wilderness, but also the cradle of humankind and a place of amazing cultural diversity. Some of the world’s greatest empires and civilizations in human history have their origin in Africa, and they are survived by impressive works of architecture.

Almost everywhere you go in Africa, you’ll find remarkable constructions: from an ancient drawing on a cave’s walls, to enormous pyramids in the middle of the desert and huge temple complexes. If you are curious to witness Africa’s architectural marvels, then here’s a brief inventory of Africa’s most spectacular man-made attractions:

Karnak Temple, Egypt

Known as the Karnak Temple, this historic site in Egypt actually represents a temple complex. There are three main temples, and several smaller ones, each one of impressive dimensions. The Karnak temple complex is still considered to be the largest worship place ever built. The Temple of Amun (the main god to which the complex was dedicated) includes even a man-made lake, known as the Sacred Lake.

Egypt monuments

Karnak Temple ©ianloic/Flickr

The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

Egypt is famous for its ancient ruins, that continue to fascinate scientists and attract millions of visitors. The Great Pyramid of Giza is probably the most impressive of all pyramids: it measures approximately 146 m in height, it was built more than 4 millennia ago and, like most pyramids, it was made of huge stone blocks.

Egypt pyramids

Great Pyramid of Giza ©maltman23/Flickr

Djenne Mosque, Mali

Djenne Mosque is probably the most recent of all the attraction listed here, but what makes it spectacular is not its height or its decorations, but the materials used in its construction. This encompassing mosque is made entirely of mud bricks, and measures 16 m at its highest point.

Stone Town, Tanzania

Zanzibar is a colorful African port, with fabulous beaches. It is also a site of great historical importance. In the heart of Zanzibar City one can find the Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and brilliant example of East African architecture.

Axum Obelisk, Ethiopia

Ethiopia has also got its unique man-made attractions, the most impressive of which is probably the Obelix of Axum. The obelisk is an ornamented stone construction, which is about 16 centuries old. Its role seems to have been similar to that of pyramids: a monumental funeral stone.


Axum Obelisks ©Martijn.Munneke/Flickr

Marrakesh, Morocco

Much can be said about Marrakesh, a former imperial city at the foothills of Atlas Mountains. While the old town in Marrakesh (Medina) consists of century-old souks, mosques, imperial palaces and intricate monuments, the modern Marrakesh attracts tourists with its luxurious resorts, unrivaled spas and excellent shopping facilities.

Leptis Magna, Lybia

Another great empire whose ruins can be found everywhere in North Africa is the Roman Empire. Entire Roman cities have been discovered on the Mediterranean coast, but few are as well preserved as Leptis Magna. Entire buildings and monuments have been spared by destruction and decay, so that today visitors at Leptis Magna can still admire some of the temples, theaters, triumphal arches and basilicas that were part of the city.

Roman ruins

Leptis Magna theatre ©Robbo-Man/Flickr

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