Sudanese style mosques

Sudanese style mosques
Photo by Luis Filipe Gaspar.

The Sudanese style mosques in northern Côte d’Ivoire is a group of eight mosques erected since the 17th century.

They were constructed when Islam spread southwards from North Africa and the Middle East along these trade towns. Their distinct adaption of Sudanese architecture lies in the use of mud brick masonry, with façades reinforced with buttresses and strands, pyramidal towers and cone-shaped minarets. The mosques are still in use.

Community Perspective: Thomas reports on his visit to the mosque of Kong. The other 7 mosques remain unreviewed.

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Thomas Buechler

Switzerland - 20-Sep-21 -

Sudanese style mosques by Thomas Buechler

Kong in Northeastern Côte d’Ivoire was once upon a time an important trade outpost when the merchants of the huge Mali empire exchanged salt and textiles from the North with slaves, gold and nuts from the South. The city became quite prosperous under the rule of Seku Quattara. Kong was for 150 years capital of the Kong empire, but as of today little has remained except the two incredibly fascinating mosques, built in Sudanese architecture style with ocher-colored clay. The small Barrola  mosque and the large more photogenic mosque of Kong, also called “Missiriba”. We had the chance to visit also the interior with its small mihrab oriented  towards Mekka, the prayer carpets, stairs leading to the rooftop, but also a colony of small bats  lives here. On the practical side, it is best to fly to Korhogo from Abidjan and rent a private vehicle through one of the hotels there, the Olympe Tourist Complex was very helpful with a reliable driver. However, we could not go any further towards Comoé National Park as this part of the country is considered unsafe at present. 

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Site Info

Full Name
Sudanese style mosques in northern Côte d’Ivoire
Unesco ID
Côte d'Ivoire
2 4
Religious structure - Islamic

Site History

2021 Advisory Body overruled

ICOMOS had advised Deferral

2021 Inscribed

2006 Revision

extended from former TWHS Kong (1987)


The site has 8 locations

Sudanese style mosques: Mosque of Kouara
Sudanese style mosques: La Mosquée de Tengréla
Sudanese style mosques: La Mosquée de Kouto
Sudanese style mosques: La Mosquée de Nambira
Sudanese style mosques: Les deux Mosquées de Kong (1)
Sudanese style mosques: Les deux Mosquées de Kong (2)
Sudanese style mosques: Mosquée de Samatiguila ou Missiriba
Sudanese style mosques: Mosquée de Sorobango