June 14, 2015

1665 GAMBIA - Banjul

Even if it has only about 35,000 inhabitants, Banjul, formerly known as Bathurst, is the capital of the Gambia. Located on St Mary's Island (Banjul Island), where the Gambia River enters the Atlantic Ocean, it is connected to the mainland to the west and the rest of Greater Banjul Area via bridges. In 1651 Banjul was leased by The Duke of Courland and Semigallia (German: Herzog von Kurland und Semgallen) from the King of Kombo, as part of the Couronian colonization. In 1816, the British founded Banjul as a trading post and base for suppressing the slave trade.Attractions in the city include the Gambian National Museum, the Albert Market, Banjul State House, Banjul Court House, African Heritage Museum, two cathedrals and several major mosques.

West from the ferry terminal towards the wide Ma Cumba Jallow Street (Dobson Street) is The Old Town, a chaotic assembly of decrepit colonial buildings and Krio-style clapboard houses (steep-roofed structures with wrought-iron balconies and corrugated roofs). It's no coincidence they resemble the inner-city architecture of FreetownSierra Leone, as many of them still belong to families who came to Banjul from Freetown, some as early as the 1820s. Since its creation in the mid-19th century the Albert Market, an area of frenzied buying, bartering and bargaining, has been Banjul's hub of activity, and so it is today.

On 22 July 1994 Banjul was the scene of a bloodless military coup d'état in which President Sir Dawda Jawara, democratically elected, was overthrown and replaced by the country's current President Yahya Jammeh. To commemorate this event, Arch 22 was built in 1996 as an entrance portal to the capital. Designed by Senegalese architect Pierre Goudiaby, the gate is 35m tall and stands at the centre of an open square. It houses a textile museum on the top floor. A statue of the "unknown soldier" can be seen near the base of the arch.

About the stamp

The stamp is part of the series Musical Instruments of the Manding Empire, issued in 2010 and containing 15 stamps.
• Riity (Fula) (D5) - It's on the postcard
• Kora (Mandinka) (D10) - It's on other postcard (1625)
• Kora (Mandinka) (D15) - It's on other postcard (1445)

This is a post for Sunday Stamps II-26, run by Violet Sky from See It On A Postcard. The theme of this week is: Making music. Click here to visit Violet’s blog and all the other participants.

Banjul - Wikipedia
Banjul - Lonely Planet
Arch 22 - Wikipedia

Sender: Dauda Mane
Sent from ??? (Gambia), on 20.12.2014
Photo: Uwe Ommer


  1. We all seem to have found instruments from Africa this week. They go well together. I've learned more about Africa in recent weeks through Sunday Stamps - your post has added to it.

  2. Africa does manage to celebrate its music beautifully.

  3. Looks a colourful place. I like the thought of 15 stamps on musical instruments, quite an orchestra.

  4. This is a great set of stamps. They look somewhat abstract in design at first glance, very appealing.