The Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali, one of Africa's unknown iconic architectures
Much of Africa's architecture remains unknown. The Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali is one such example.
A monument to Islam, the Great Mosque is the largest earth-built structure in the world.
The mosque is a symbol of the city of Djenné, which flourished as a centre of commerce between 800 and 1250.
The building's smooth sculpted walls are constructed with sun-baked earth bricks, sand and earth-based mortar and a coat of plaster.
Each year, residents of the city communally re-plaster the mosque during a one-day event known as the Crépissage de la Grand Mosquée.
The Great Mosque in Benin is another example of how much of Africa's architecture remains unknown.
This mosque in Benin's capital, Port-Novo, is a striking example of Afro-Brazilian architecture built in the style of 17th and 18th Century churches in the north-eastern Brazilian state of, Bahia.
Along the West African coast, it is one of many Afro-Brazilian mosques built in the early 20th Century by returning descendants of freed slaves.
Mosques are the most important buildings in every city and village in Islamic countries. These religious landmarks have always had a significant role in the lives of Muslims.
In addition to being a place of prayer and worship, many mosques provide social, educational, financial and marital services.