Africa has some of the most exciting forts and castles in the world. They are rich in history and full of interesting facts.
Castles in Africa have been featured in movies like Gladiator and Game of Thrones, and some African royalty even kept lions as pets in their palaces.
Such stories of greatness are in sharp contrast to the other side of forts involving slavery and invasion. Enjoy these amazing pictures of the forts and castles in Africa.
What is the oldest castle in the world?
It is the Citadel of Aleppo, located in Syria, and it was built around 3000 BC.
Old Castles in Africa
As the saying goes, age before beauty. We begin with the strongholds that have stood the test of time.
1. The Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali
We start this list with the largest mud building in the world found in Mali. It is an excellent show of Sudano Sahelian African architecture and was modelled after an 11th Century mosque.
2. Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
According to UNESCO, it was built during the Shona civilization between the 11th and 15th centuries. The site is unique in that the stones were placed without mortar, which is like building without cement.
3. Cairo Citadel, Egypt
Built by Salah ad-Din in 1176, it was the seat of the Egyptian government for over 700 years, as its location makes it very difficult to attack.
4. Citadel of Qaitbay, Egypt
It was built where one of the seven wonders of the ancient world once stood, the Lighthouse of Alexandria. The lighthouse collapsed after a series of earthquakes between the 11th and 14th centuries.
5. Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar Ethiopia
This is one of the best in Africa, and it was built in 1636 CE. Fasilides Castle is located in Gondar mainly because there was no Malaria in the high altitudes. Haile Selassie kept his lions in this castle complex. If you want to be amazed by Ethiopian architecture, check out the churches of Lalibela.
6. Ait Benhaddou, Morocco
This fortified village is the Gondar of the North. This Moroccan site has been featured in Hollywood films like Gladiator, The Mummy, and, most recently, Game of Thrones.
7. Cape of Good Hope Castle, South Africa
Also known as Kasteel de Goede Hoop, it was built in the 17th century as a bastion fort. It is the oldest colonial building in South Africa.
8. Ribat of Monastir, Tunisia
It was founded in 796 by Harthama ibn A’yan. The Tunisian ribat is the oldest of several fortifications built by Arab invaders in North Africa.
9. Fort Santa Cruz, Algeria
The fort Santa Cruz is very famous and has a breathtaking view. Strategically, it is a masterpiece because invaders can be spotted from very far, and it is also connected to three other forts via underground tunnels
10. Taleh, Somalia
It is the largest of five forts erected by Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, the leader of a Somali- Muslim kingdom. It was built in the early 1900s but was destroyed in 1920 by the British.