July 16th, 2010
Timbuktu is known for its Great Mosque, also known as the Djinguereber Mosque which has played an important role in the history of Timbuktu, the city which houses the largest mosque in Mali.
There are several mosques in Timbuktu with the Djinguereber Mosque being the most important for visitors and locals alike.
Besides the Djinguereber also the mosques of Sankore and Sidi Yahia are important places of gathering and prayer.
Taking a closer look at these constructions you'll see the geniusness of how this monastery has come into being and you realize that the Great Mosque of Timbuktu is made entirely out of mud and wood branches, incredible!
But the history of Timbuktu goes much further than these masterpieces and the real treasure of Mali, and Africa in general as far as this type of history is concerned, is to be found in the library of Timbuktu.
Here, over 100.000 of ancient manuscripts from the Malinese Empire dating back to the 12th Century are kept for the world's leading scientists to study and for some previleged tourists to take a look at. This kind of documentation found in Mali, Africa shows a great similarity with the history books and documents found in other continents and therefor are of great interest for history in general, something which was recognized by UNESCO as well.
To get inside the library of Timbuktu make sure you check the openinghours and schedule with the locals as you'll find it often closed or open to a select group of people.
As for the Great Mosque make sure you take a look inside. Out of respect we took off our shoes and ladies, make sure to cover up a little bit. We were also lucky to take a look in the minaret of the mosque which showed an amazing view of Timbuktu.
Besides these major touristic drawcard the streets of Timbuktu can be little exciting and the best thing is to make pictures of the typical Malinese streetlife, like the running goats and playing kids, something that you'll appreciate later when you're back home.
O and for those interested, it's also possible, if he's home that is, to visit the cottage of major Alexander Gordon Liang:)
Did you enjoy The Great Mosque of Timbuktu and have you been on a holiday in Timbuktu, Mali?
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