The diverse architecture of Africa

African architecture is just as important as any other architectural style

Most of us have only seen the side of African architecture that is influenced by external western cultures. What you may not know is that our traditional and historic architecture is exceptional. From east to west, from north to south, our buildings are bombarded with artistic and technological implications. It’s not just the great pyramids of Egypt that are extraordinary but tombs, villages, palaces and places of worship too.

The most common materials used in the engineering of these structures are stone, thatch, wood, mud and brick. Structures were constructed according to how the areas interact with the environment, geographical factors and the community’s needs. For example, stone was used if the area was prone to rainfall or termites, while thatch was used if the area’s climate was hot.

Here are a couple of the continent’s most breathtaking buildings:

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The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia
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The Great Temple of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel, Egypt
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Bosjes Chapel, South Africa
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The Nubian Pyramids at Meroe, Sudan
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Stone Town, Zanzibar
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Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, The great library in Egypt,
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Timbuktu, Mali
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Nubian architecture in Sudan
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Heritage house in Kenya
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Ndebele architecture, South Africa
  

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