Timbuktu. Sand city in Mali

In the touareg language, residents of the Delta of the African River Niger, Tim means well. Well in Sahara, one of the most arid deserts of the globe is not only a place where water can be obtained from the ground, this is life. According to the legend, in time immemorial, there lived in the old woman in the expansion of the book. The woman was distinguished by rare hospitality, so the Arab merchants, leading caravans for the north of the continent, gladly became on vacation at her well. Over time, the settlement has grown here, perpetuating the book and her well – the legendary city of antiquity Timbukta. The city was founded by taaregas about a thousand years ago and survived the flourishing, conquering alien tribes, decay and still.

Flooming Timbuktu

The period of heyday Timbukta began with the conquest of the Niger Niger the People’s Malinka (Mandingo). The well has a permanent place of residence of Berbers-Muslims, black slaves and Arab merchants who settled each in their part of the city. Thanks to a convenient geographical position, Timbuktu quickly became a developed shopping center. Golden sand was brought here, ivory, leather, cola nuts, slaves and other goods to be sent through Sudan in the northern direction. Sulk fabrics and other Eastern Luxury Items were supplied in the southern direction to the city.

The period of the greatest heyday of Timbuktu is associated with the name of the ruler of Mali (Mansa) of the first third of 14V by the name of Mousse. Returning in 1325. From Hajj to Mecca, Mansa decided to stay in the city for a long time. By his order, the royal palace who did not reach this day, as well as the magnificent mosques, were built here. It was then that one of the attractions of Timbuktu was erected – Gingerboard Mosque.

Ginger Mosque

Mosque, like most of the old city buildings, is built in the so-called "Sudanese style". This architecture characterizes buildings from raw bricks or stones on a clay solution. For a Sudanese style with distinctive features are pilasters, dismemberment of the facades of buildings, towers and minarets conical, or in the shape of a truncated pyramid, the main visual difference – sticking out the beams of overlaps. Outside, such a structure is very similar to the sand cyer, covered by outer planes with matches.

Gingerber Mosque in Plan is a quadrangle. She has a flat roof, the building is decorated with global columns. The low-tailed upward minaret is equipped with on top of clay turrets. The top of the minaret suffered greatly from time to time. Building angles contain numerous towers in the form of sugar heads made from the same clay. In the courtyard of the mosque, the Arab cemetery occupies a big place.

In 15 in Timbuktu becomes a prominent center of trade of continent. Main products – current salt and gold towards each other. A university opened in the prosperous city, consisting of 180 madrasa. In the best years, he accommodated up to 2000 students. City filled Arab scientists and scribes. Timbuktu was the famous Training Center of the Muslim Part West Africa. Local scientists won indisputable authority in the field of rhetoric, legal entity, interpret the Koran and Medicine. In addition, they collected an extensive library. The remains of the past luxury are still stored in the city, in except for state, more than 60 private libraries and book collections. Here and today you can find antique Greek manuscripts.

One of the oldest madrasas of the city was at the Sanboral Mosque, whose squat pyramidal minaret of Ponyna stand out on a citywide background, in the northeastern part of the settlement.

Mosque Sanboris

The architectural solution of the mosque was created by the Andalusian poet of ES-Saheli. Quarter, where the structure is located, was originally inhabited by large saltorgic. Distinctive Damage Sanboris – Her Facade. Decoratively rendered forward, protruding corner poles from burnt roof tiles are decorated with the protruding capitals. Entrance doors in the mosque, the northeastern part of which falls asleep the sand, removed the ancient Moorish ornament. Like Ginkerber’s Mosque, Sanor was completely rebuilt in 16V.

K 1492. Timbuktu became part of the Songay Empire, which reached the greatest heyday under the rulers of Muhamad Askiya. During his reign, a large number of scientists and sages from Mecca and Cairo came to the city, which enlightened the monarch climbed into his yard, making his advisors. Visit from the west of the continent, from Maghreb, at the slave markets of the city, the slaves for the Sugar Salt.

Timbuktu decline

The period of prosperity ended for the city in 1591. Timbuktu was captured by the warriors of the Markan Sultan, armed by the firearms unprecedented here. The color of the local society – scientists and scribes accused of treason and either destroyed, or hijacked in Morocco. To protect against nomads-Berberov, Sultan left an armed garrison in the city, but he often did not cope with his duties, and Berbers captured and plundered the city. The city gradually Harel, the number of his inhabitants was slowly went on no. So it lasted until 1893., When Timbukti captured French colonizers.

Titmbuktu and Europeans

Timbuktu. Sand city in Mali

Since the times of great geographical discoveries in Europe, rumors were rumored about the city in Africa, the cradles of gold and wisdom – Timbuktu. Incredibly, fabulously rich called in their records this city merchants PostSrednekovya. The greatest information was drawn by Europeans from Leo Afrikanus’s records, the Arab merchant who lived in the first half of the 16th century. He solemnly called the city of the "Desert Queen" and described him as a settlement, whose streets were paved with gold ingots, and residents – wise men and scientists. Europeans, hoochie and to gold, and to wisdom, tirelessly searched for this belly place. French Geographical Society even announced a reward in 10,000 francs to the European, who will be able to visit the African Eldorado. Significant reservation: to get a prize, it was necessary to return from the travel alive. Muslim traders have kept the location of the city in secret for a long time, so accidentally walked here Europeans were obliged or to accept Islam and naturalized, or die.

The first attempt to find the city officially undertook a British officer Alexander Leng. The goal and tasks of it was not only to discover Timbukti, but also subordinate to his British crown. Interesting and self-confident, like every white man in Africa for those years, in 1825. He goes to the expedition, dressed in the parade uniform of His Majesty Guard. It would probably be greater mistake to appear at the Meeksian kaaba in sparkling boots, a hat and with a murmur-mounted cross. As a result, the proud Briton was still a causing city, but it became the last deed in his life. The mysterious disappearance of Lenga was only rooted by the interest of Europeans to the secret Timbukta.

In the footsteps of the Englishman, the Frenchman Rena Kayo goes. Having learned the Arabic and customs of Muslims, he manages to enter the "fabulous" city. And what sees the discoverer "Queen Desert"? Pathetic shacks, garbage and dirt – that’s all that remains in this place from the golden enlightened century. The great European dream of finding wisdom and wealth collapsed. That did not prevent the practical French to seize the city and declare him subjects.

By the beginning of 20, in Timbukt, turned into an extinct city, how so far is. In the first years of ages, the 21st population of Timbuktu did not reach 40 thousand people. Only old houses are reminded about the first glory, practically not undergoing changes since the heyday of the city.

Architecture of the old part of Timbuktu

Residential buildings 15 and 16VV Constructions are characterized by narrow cornices and friezes from sandstone or burnt roof tiles, horizontally separating facades. The oldest buildings are affected by traditional, skillfully filled semi-curvous Mauritanian windows according to Moroccan. Wooden doorway decorated with skilled carved patterns painted in red and green colors. Before entering the residential part of the house there is a spacious lobby without windows. Walls are usually covered with white or light blue paint, global floors are rushing fresh sand, which in the desert is always with an excess, unlike the tree. Roofs of houses, therefore, laid out short acresses.

These houses, mosques, and the wisdom of the centuries, set forth in the ancient books, allowed UNESCO to declare Timbukt in the object of the world heritage of mankind. It was in 1989, and in 2000. The government of a tiny, but extremely prosperous European state of Luxembourg, together with a number of international funds, initiated a project to study the written heritage of the ancient city. In Timbuktu and its surroundings still stored hundreds of thousands of manuscripts, the oldest of which go to 12V. Most of the treatises are written in Arabic or in the language of Fula Islamic scientists, and are devoted to astronomy, music and biology. Also, the number of religious literature and books on morality and piety.

Even UNESCO intervention does not make this land happier. The desert is little in the face back dismands the territory, once selected by her. Studies of the magazine "Forbes" put Timbuktu in the first ten cities that mighty by the end of our century disappear from the face of the earth.

Timbuktu. Sand city in Mali

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