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Architecture In Africa


African architecture, like many other aspects of African culture, is viewed as exceptionally distinct. The country of Africa has had their own traditions in architecture and most predominantly held attributes and characteristics of Islamic and Christian faith. In Africa, and particularly sub-Saharan, architecture existed before visual arts and has held a significant cultural and artistic impact. Whether it is mosques, churches, homes, or monuments, the architecture in Africa has always been illustrious and significant.

Africa was most likely the location where people first built any type of architecture, seeing that African life predated any other locations. When we think of African buildings, initially we think of huts in the middle of a dessert or lush trees, but not much else. These notions are wrong.

Famous African Architecture:


  • Revival Sunset Chapel
  • This beautiful chapel is located in Gabon and acts a public church. This chapel acts as a buffer to African society, as it is placed in a rather controversial location in central Africa. The chapel is interesting enough in its appearance as it has large windows and extremely high ceilings. The roof is slanted and the inside is large beams are strewn throughout the building. Stainless steel, aluminum, black marble, and pine wood are all used to portray a message of beautiful complexity from the building.

  • United Bank of Addis Ababa
  • This seamless and striking building is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is perhaps one of the most unique and beautiful banks standing today. In the construction, there is a very complex significance in its outer appearance, which is made of what appears to be small units pieced together and seamlessly connected. The outer view of the building is towering from a point-blank view and indescribable. Much like other architecture in Africa, it also has symbolism in its appearance.

  • Cliff of Bandiagara
  • Also in reference to Land of the Dogons, Bandiagara is surmised of many different villages, located in Mali. The cliff rises an estimated 500 meters above the plateau south of it and is around 150 kilometers or nearly 94 miles. It’s stated that this location served once as a defensive shelter and currently serves as housing for the Dogon people. It is tucked far away from reachable access and includes tunnels, in means to defend from invaders. The Dogon people still regularly follow tradition of age-old ceremonies. The Cliff of Bandiagara is simplistic in comparison to the modern style of architecture in Africa, but it is still beautiful and impressive.

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