The great mud town of Djenné

The iconic mud buildings of Djenné are on the shortlist of most visitors to Mali. And for good reason. The Great Mosque of Djenné is considered to be one of the most significant buildings in the region. There are a few other mosques from the 13th century in the area, but the Great Mosque – built in 1907 – is definitely mind blowing.

Ferry with a big load of goods crossing the Bani river during sunset
Ferry with a big load of goods crossing the Bani river during sunset

Spectactular Djenné

The road from Mopti to Djenné is crossing the Bani river. Ferries are frequent and there are sales people on each side of the ferry landing. The trip itself across the river was short, but scenic during a beautiful sunrise. There are not many vehicles crossing the river. However, if there are, the ferry operation is quite spectacular, as the boats are small and don’t look too stable.

Walking through Djenné
Walking through Djenné

After a short drive from the ferry landing, zig-zaging donkey carts, we arrived downtown Djenné where the Great Mosque is sitting and dominating the market place. There, we left the car parked and strolled around town, admiring the mud architecture and the relative absence of modern vehicles.

Great Mosque, Djenné
Great Mosque, Djenné

Donkey and horse carts are the main way of transportation here. And goats are greeting from just about every corner of the street. And children. They love to hold hands, have a picture taken. Because they expect to get a “cadeau” (gift) in return. That is quite annoying, but Evgeny and me slowly get used to this situation.

After a beautiful day’s stay in Djenné, we did hit the road again. Because there are even more stunning architectural sites on the road ahead. But that’s a story for the next posting.