Great Mosque of Djenné

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Djenné, Mali; 1907

Just south of the Sahara Desert, the River Niger – one of Africa’s great rivers – meets an important tributary, the Bani. The ground here is fairly flat, and for most of the year the area is arid, but the volume of water in the rivers builds up so that they flood across a great plain between July and November, making the land fertile. It was here, at the Niger’s inland delta, that the city of Djenné grew up. It was closely linked with Timbuktu – a further staging post on the trade route that carried salt, gold, ivory and slaves across the Sahara from the thirteenth to the beginning of the seventeenth century. ...

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