Africa is home to some of the wonderful structures in the world, which were borne out of some weird thinking of unconventional designers and builders.
These unusual structures are not only providing comfort and leaving users in awe but are also shaping the surroundings of the cities in which they are situated.
Here are seven unique buildings in Africa you might want to visit:
Constructed by members of Bathurst’s agricultural community in the 1980s, the building, which is made of metal and fibreglass, is three stories tall.
Farmers who had settled at the location of the building in the 18th century found it hard to grow crops successfully.
But the situation improved when they started planting pineapples, so locals decided to honour the fruit by constructing a building in its shape.
The inside of the building contains a museum dedicated to the fruit with a variety of pineapple products available for sale. Even though it is a carbon copy of a similar building in Australia, the Big Pineapple is taller by just over two feet and hence it has the title as the World’s Largest Pineapple.
Stacked in the heart of Lalibela town, a small village in northern Ethiopia previously known as Roha, are 11 spectacular medieval churches that were carved from a single volcanic rock some 900 years ago.
The magnificent medieval structures have turned the mountain town into a major attraction site over the years for local and international visitors and pilgrims, especially worshipers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
All the churches at the site are elaborately carved and are underground, connected by tunnels and surrounded by rock-hewn trenches. These rock-hewn churches were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
The Shoe House
In 1990, an artist and hotelier, Ron Van Zyl built the Shoe House for his wife.
Situated in Ohrigstad, and nestled at the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains, the about 8-chalet guest house contains a campsite, restaurant, a pool and a bar. It also has a museum that showcases wood carvings of Van Zyl.
Centre International des Civilisations Bantu
Based in Libreville, Gabon, this centre was established as a cultural organization in 1983 under the initiative of the president of the state, Omar Bongo.
It is the world’s primary organization that studies the Bantu peoples. It fell into repair and was abandoned in 1988 due to lack of funding. In 2012, it was announced that it will be rehabilitated.
Also known as the Elf Tower, this office skyscraper in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, is the tallest building in the Republic of Congo, as well as Central Africa.
At 106 metres with about 30 floors, Nabemba was designed by Jean Marie Legrand during the government’s five-year plan and was built between 1983 and 1986.
It houses various ministries and other organisations such as the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and UNESCO.
This iconic building is situated in South Africa in the peaceful southern Cederberg Mountains, a historical area that was once home to the traditional Bushmen.
Well known for its scenic beauty and cultural heritage, this unusual hotel has rooms which are built to blend with the natural environment, particularly, the rocks. Its unique cave suites, private lodge, and chalets have attracted many people to the site.
Hundreds of Bushman or San rock paintings dating back to 6000 years ago are found at the site, making it a unique safari destination in South Africa.
St Paul’s Cathedral
Blessed on two occasions by Pope John Paul II, St. Paul’s is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Abidjan and was designed by Italian architect Aldo Spirito. Construction of the church was completed in 1985 and as at 2002, it was the second largest church in Africa and one of the largest cathedrals in the world, estimated at $12 million.
With an impressive interior, which has walls filled with beautiful stained glass windows, the Cathedral served as a safety ground for almost 2000 people of all faiths who escaped the post-electoral violence of 2010 to 2011.
People who have been to the Cathedral say you can climb steps to the top of the church tower and enjoy spectacular views over Ivory Coast.