Grand Mosque of Agadez in Agadez, Niger

Built in 1515 during the reign of the Songhai Empire, this mosque showcases the culmination of decades of the Tuareg people’s desire to perfect their building methods. According to legend, the mosque was built in one night, after Isha prayer, before the sun rose the following morning by Muslim scholar Imam Bahkili.

The minaret that sits at the heart of the shrine stands approximately 27 meters (89 feet) tall, making it the tallest mud-brick structure in the world. You can see a resemblance between this structure and other mud-brick buildings around Timbuktu in neighboring Mali (Like the Great Mud Mosque of Djenné), which may be evidence of shared building techniques.

The structure has always been a mosque and continues to attract people for Friday prayers from the immense desert that surrounds Agadez. The mosque is in the central part of the city of Agadez, and this zone is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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