Some of Africa’s oldest buildings after the Egyptian pyramids are the Muslim libraries and mosques spread all over the continent. The architectural designs of mosques in Africa and the world over are very similar and represent a unique Muslim culture and style.
Contrary to popular belief, some of the most spectacular mosques in Africa are found in other parts of the continent apart from the predominantly Muslim north.
In no particular order, here are some of the oldest and most spectacular mosques you can find in Africa.
Al-Azhar Mosque – Cairo, Egypt
Considered as one of the most breathtaking mosques in all of Egypt, the Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo stands magnificently in the capital city. The mosque was specially commissioned to be built in 970AD for the new capital city of the country and boasts of an exquisite interior in addition to its breathtaking architecture.
Soofie Mosque – South Africa
Another exquisite mosque in Africa can be found in South Africa. The Soofie Mosque leaves visitors in complete awe at not only how huge it is, but how it was carefully planned and built to display the richness of culture and architecture. Found in Ladysmith town, South Africa, the mosque is described as the country’s most beautiful.
Al Hassan II Mosque – Morocco
Also known as the Grande Mosquée Hassan II, this beautiful mosque was built in 1993 and is the largest mosque in Africa and the 5th largest in the world. Aside from being Africa’s biggest mosque, the Hassan II Mosque is also a sight to behold especially at night when its lights are turned on. The grand mosque cost between 400 to 700 million dollars to be built with a prayer hall that can take 25,000 people.
The Great Mosque of Touba – Senegal
Founded by Amadou Bamba in 1887 and completed in 1963, the Great Mosque of Touba is one of the most beautiful mosques in West Africa. The mosque takes up to 7000 people and is the largest building in the city of Touba.
Al Qayrawan Mosque – Tunisia
Also known as the Great Mosque of Kairouan and the Mosque of Uqba or Sidi Ukba, this breathtaking mosque in Tunisia was built in 670CE by the first Muslims to arrive in North Africa under the leadership of Uqba Ibn Nafi. The magnificent mosque served as a prototype for Muslim architecture and the basic design of mosques in Africa.
Great Mosque of Djenne – Mali
Located in the city of Djenné in Mali, the Great Mosque of Djenne is one of the oldest mosques in Africa built in the 13th century. The mosque is made of mud and has been described as the greatest achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style and became a World Heritage site in 1988.