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Situated on an island in the Niger Inland delta with a population of around 10,000, Djenné is one of Maliís pre-eminent tourist attractions. Named a World Heritage Site in 1988, the city has taken great care to preserve its Sudanese style mud architecture, including the world-famous mosque. Here one can feel what sub-Saharan Africa must have been like a century ago. At one time, Djenné competed with Timbuktu as the western Sudanís pre-eminent center of trans-Saharan trade and Islamic scholarship. Now it is more of an agricultural and tourist town. 
Djennéís most famous (and dominating) site is the mosque. It is actually the third mosque built at the site. The first mosque was built by the Soninke king Koï Kounboro who destroyed his palace in the 13th century for its construction. The second mosque was built in 1834 after the first one was left to decay when it became "contaminated" by evil practices. The present mosque, built in 1905, is in the style of the original mosque. Three towers, each 11 meters high and topped with an ostrich egg, can be seen from quite a distance. In fact, the mosque is the world's tallest and largest mud structure Every year it is resurfaced with mud after the rainy season ends. ... Click here for more.
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