Trip Planner: Africa / Mali / Mopti Region / Djenne / Great Mosque Of Djenne
Considered one of the greatest Sudano-Sahelian architectural achievements, Great Mosque Of Djenne represents a prominent cultural landmark and World Heritage Site. The first mosque built on this floodplain dated from the 13th century, although the current scaffold-like, mud-brick structure was rebuilt in 1907 by the French administration and local masons. As you approach the site, notice the cone spirals and three box-like minarets standing tall over the main entrance on the northern side. Inside, during visiting hours, explore the decorated halls occupied by devotees, including the ornate prayer wall facing towards Mecca. Using our international travel planner, Djenne attractions like Great Mosque Of Djenne can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Great Mosque Of Djenne reviews
I booked 8 month ago a full Mali tour including Djenne. Few days before the trip the agency mailed me that Djenne is temporary closed but probably will be open in a couple of days. Now I am to the...
I booked 8 month ago a full Mali tour including Djenne. Few days before the trip the agency mailed me that Djenne is temporary closed but probably will be open in a couple of days. Now I am to the... more »
What an incredibly astounding and remarkable place. The mosque and old town are historic heritage sites. The sand in the mosque is turned over once a year, and the prayer carpets were donated by the..... more
What an incredibly astounding and remarkable place. The mosque and old town are historic heritage sites. The sand in the mosque is turned over once a year, and the prayer carpets were donated by the..... more »
As one of the wonders of Africa, and one of the most unique religious buildings in the world, the Great Mosque of Djenné, in present-day Mali, is also the greatest achievement of Sudano-Sahelian architecture (Sudano-Sahelian refers to the Sudanian and Sahel grassland of West Africa). It is also the largest mud-built structure in the world. We experience its monumentality from afar as it dwarfs the city of Djenné. Imagine arriving at the towering mosque from the neighborhoods of low-rise adobe houses that comprise the city. Djenné was founded between 800 and 1250 C.E., and it flourished as a great center of commerce, learning, and Islam, which had been practiced from the beginning of the 13th century. Soon thereafter, the Great Mosque became one of the most important buildings in town primarily because it became a political symbol for local residents and for colonial powers like the French who took control of Mali in 1892. Over the centuries, the Great Mosque has become the epicenter of the religious and cultural life of Mali, and the community of Djenné. It is also the site of a unique annual festival called the Crepissage de la Grand Mosquée (Plastering of the Great Mosque). The Great Mosque that we see today is its third reconstruction, completed in 1907. According to legend, the original Great Mosque was probably erected in the 13th century, when King Koi Konboro—Djenné’s twenty-sixth ruler and its first Muslim sultan (king)—decided to use local materials and traditional design techniques to build a place of Muslim worship in town. King Konboro’s successors and the town’s rulers added two towers to the mosque and surrounded the main building with a wall. The mosque compound continued to expand over the centuries, and by the 16th century, popular accounts claimed half of Djenné’s population could fit in the mosque’s galleries.
The locals told me that there had been no tourists for a long time. After the tour, I just want to say to protect and take care of it. (Visit the Monday market as well.)
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