Unusual Architecture in Africa

by upyeronz

Africa is a terrific place for those willing to discover its architecture. While in the big cities you can find more conventional buildings, skyscrapers, European-style churches and mosques (most of which can be found in North Africa) in the least urban areas of Africa true marvels of architecture are waiting to be admired and photographed. So get ready to walk the least beaten paths of African tourism and discover the unusual architecture in Africa:

Great Mosque of Djenné

Made of mud and tree trunks, the mosque in Djenne is indeed a remarkable piece of architecture. The construction has about the same size as the big medieval cathedrals in Europe, just that it’s not as old – it dates back to the early 20th century. But it was its originality and not its history which made the Great Mosque of Djenné to be listed as a world heritage site.

Nubian Pyramids

by vit hassan

The so-called Nubian Pyramids in Sudan seem like the smaller replicas of the great pyramids in Egypt. And just like the latter, these serves as tombs for the kings and queens of Kushite (an ancient people) kingdom. However, the Nubian pyramids that can be admired at Meroe in Sudan are significantly different in terms of their shape and proportions and represent an interesting alternative to the well-known monuments in neighbouring Egypt.

Ganvie, Benin

by sarah&joachim

This village in Benin is among the most unusual in the whole Africa: out of safety reasons, the villagers have decided to build their homes above the waters of a big lake. Just like in a rural Venice, the streets are represented by canals and the only means of transportation are boats. The houses are suspended above the water on thick logs (in time, these become petrified under water).

Antananarivo, Madagascar

The capital of Madagascar represents an interesting blend of architectural styles. Malagasy architecture was well developed in the medieval ages and even after the arrival of Europeans some trends continue to persist in the architecture of Antananarivo. You can usually recognize a traditional Malagasy house by its rectangular form, with two or more stories and a wooden veranda.

Mellah of Tazart, Morocco

This desert town is not necessarily famous for its architecture but rather for the fact that it represents one of the biggest ghost cities in Africa. A mellah is the Moroccan version of a Jewish getto – or more exactly a fortified Jewish neighbourhood. The mellah was abandoned years ago, after a great draught – however its walls are still intact and make a dramatic contrast against the Atlas ranges.

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