Situated on an island in the Bani River in central Mali, Djenne was once an important stop on the Trans-Saharan route and linked with the fortunes of the legendary desert city of Timbuktu.

Caravans of salt, gold and slaves, ensured that Djenne thrived during the 15th to 17th centuries AD and like its northern sister Timbuktu, it was also a center of Islamic scholarship and learning.

dusk at market and mosque of Djenne Mali

Dusk approaches and the market is winding down … The surreal mud mosque of ancient Djenne overlooks a happening weekly market, where traders from the surrounding area come to do business every Monday. The Great Mosque was built in 1907. Yet it stands on the site of an earlier Great Mosque built of clay back in the 13th century (that survived into the 19th century before crumbling). Every year the Great Mosque has to be re-plastered with fresh mud to maintain the structure.

Djenne-Djenno was first settled around 250 BC with some of the earliest evidence for iron production in sub-Saharan Africa. Djenne area was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

Travels in Mali – 2007

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