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Underrated architecture of Africa: 54 main attractions


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Underrated architecture of Africa: 54 main attractions

Africa is a continent that occupies 20% of the entire land area of our planet. Its area is 30.3 million square kilometers! Most people perceive Africa as a huge safari site, but not a country with its own flavor and a huge number of architectural attractions. There are 54 countries on the continent, the sights of which SMAPSE experts will tell you about today. They are sure that can surprise!

  1. Algeria, the Clay Palace in Gardai - a structure built of sand and clay, reminiscent of the work of Antoni Gaudí.
  2. Angola, Currency Museum - located next to the National Bank and symbolizes modern architectural technology.
  3. Benin, Tata houses of the Somba tribe - houses of a tribe famous for their construction craft. One-, two- and three-story buildings that women paint with symbols of fertility.
  4. Botswana, Temple of the International Community of Krishna is the only Krishna temple in the country.
  5. Burkina Faso, Grusi houses in Tiebela - houses that are built from clay, bean varnish, chalk and coal by men and signed by women. Some are residential, some are mausoleums.
  6. Burundi, Champignon - Bauhaus-style houses that appeared here in the middle of the 20th century and resemble champignon.
  7. Gabon, Ministry of Fuel and Carbon is a government building located in the center of the country and an outstanding example of modern architecture.
  8. Gambia, National Assembly - a building that opened in 2014: its construction cost 25 million $ and can simultaneously accommodate 400 people.
  9. Ghana, One Office Center Airport Square is a building located in the capital of the country - Accra. Its design resembles giant honeycombs or patterns on ethnic fabrics. The building contributes to the environment with rainwater tanks and solar panels.
  10. Guinea, Casa Palabres - a building with modest facades, but intricate paintings inside. Its original function is as a meetinghouse for elders.
  11. Guinea-Bissau, People's Palace - 102 people who are part of the national assembly of the country, sit in this building resembling a volcano.
  12. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Leschanger Tower - Kinshasa's two - hundred - meter Eiffel Tower, built in 1978 and decorated with works by local artists.
  13. Djibouti, Afar huts - traditional Afar dwellings, similar to yurts.
  14. Egypt, Cairo Citadel - a fortress built in the XII century and protecting the country from the attacks of the Crusaders, today it works as a museum, mosque and palace.
  15. Zambia, Cathedral of the Holy Cross - Anglican church resembling a water tower.
  16. Zimbabwe, East Gate Center is a building that does not require air ducts, fans and is equipped with a natural lighting system.
  17. Cape Verde, Palacio do Povo - a palace built at the end of the 19th century in the Portuguese colonial style.
  18. Cameroon, Reunification Monument - A monument commemorating the reunification of divided Cameroon in 1960. Different colors are symbols of different parts of the country.
  19. Kenya, African Heritage House is a cultural hub dedicated to the arts and culture of the country.
  20. Comoros, the Great Mosque of Iconi - a mosque, a white pearl towering on the coast of the Comoros.
  21. Congo, Nabemba Tower - The tallest building in the Congo, built in 1986.
  22. Côte d'Ivoire, St. Paul's Cathedral is a catholic cathedral built in a futuristic style in Abidjan. Inside there are frescoes and mosaics with biblical subjects.
  23. Lesotho, Mokorotlo - Museum of culture of the Basotho people in the form of a spit-throat, Basotho headdress
  24. Liberia, Grand Masonic Lodge - Lodge meeting building renovated in 2018.
  25. Libya, Leptis Magna is an ancient Roman city on the Mediterranean coast, during the excavations of which a basilica, an arch and an amphitheater were found. Since 1981 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  26. Mauritius, Tien Tan Pagoda - Built in 1950, a place of worship for the country's Chinese Buddhists.
  27. Mauritania, The Stone Tower at Chinguetti is a tall stone tower whose original function was a haven for merchants crossing the desert. UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  28. Madagascar, Royal Palace in Antananarivo - fortress and royal residence, built in the second half of the 19th century. The building is interesting because it can be seen from anywhere in the city.
  29. Malawi, Mua Mission Center is a cultural center, library and museum reflecting the heritage of the Yao, Chewa and Nguni peoples.
  30. Mali, Jenne Great Mosque is the largest adobe building in the world, built in 1907.
  31. Morocco, Bab Mansour Gate - a gate built in 1732 in honor of the architect Mansour.
  32. Mozambique, St. Anthony's Church is a modernist, unusual building for a temple, reminiscent of a juicer. Built in 1962, the style is defined as a mixture of Mexican and Expressionism.
  33. Namibia, Church of Christ is a building built of quartz and sandstone in a mixture of Art Nouveau and Gothic styles.
  34. Niger, The Hikma Religious Complex is a former Danaji Mosque, converted into a religious center for people of all faiths.
  35. Nigeria, National Theater - a building built in 1977 that resembles a Nigerian military ID (yes, experts were surprised too). Height - 30 meters.
  36. Rwanda, Royal Hut is a recreated royal residence from the time when Nyanza was the country's capital.
  37. Sao Tome and Principe, Agua Ise is a village around the thriving cocoa and coffee plantations of the 19th century.
  38. Swaziland, Hive huts are dome-shaped houses covered with grass. Thanks to this shape and materials, they perfectly save residents from heat and rain.
  39. Seychelles, Temple of Arul Mihu Navasakti Vinayagar is the only Hindu temple in the country, built in 1992.
  40. Senegal, The Great Mosque in Touba is one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the country, built in the 19th century.
  41. Somalia, the tomb of the unknown soldier - an obelisk dedicated to the soldiers who died in the ongoing war since 1988.
  42. Sudan, Pyramids of Meroe - the tombs of African monarchs, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  43. Sierra Leone, Martell Tower - a fortification built in the 19th century, today it is a national monument.
  44. Tanzania, Ishranshi Infirmary in Zanzibar - a building built in a mixture of European, African and Arab cultures by order of a wealthy Indian merchant.
  45. Togo, the Tower Houses of the Takaenta in Kutammaku are adobe houses, thanks to which the city received the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  46. Tunisia, Hotel Du Lac is an abandoned hotel built in the middle of the 20th century in the shape of an inverted pyramid and in a brutalist style.
  47. Uganda, the burial place of the kings of Buganda in Kasubi - a tomb palace, built in 1882 from straw, wood, reeds and clay.
  48. Central African Republic, Notre Dame Cathedral in Bangui - Cathedral in honor of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, built in the middle of the 20th century.
  49. Chad, adobe houses in Gauja - houses made of earth and straw, decorated with paintings on the walls and on the ground near the house.
  50. Equatorial Guinea, Freedom Tower - Built in 2011, a symbol of independence from Spain in the 1960s.
  51. Eritrea, Fiat Tagliero is a service station that looks similar to examples of traditional African architecture. In 2017, it received the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  52. Ethiopia, Lideta Shopping Center Mercato - a building that received the Versailles Prize and recognized as the best shopping center in the world.
  53. South Africa, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art - Opened in 2017, the museum claims to be the world's first large museum entirely dedicated to contemporary art.
  54. South Sudan, Tukeli - traditional topos huts - were built of straw, bushes and twine.
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