July 5, 2015
1720 MALI - Timbuktu (UNESCO WHS)
Situated 20km north of the River Niger, on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, Timbuktu became a permanent settlement early in the 12th century, and flourished from the trade in salt, gold, ivory and slaves, entering into the composition of the Mali Empire early in the 14th century. In the first half of the 15th century the Tuareg tribes took control of the city until the Songhai Empire absorbed the city in 1468. A Moroccan army defeated the Songhai in 1591, and made Timbuktu their capital. In its golden age, the town's numerous Islamic scholars and extensive trading network made possible an important book trade: together with the campuses of the Sankore Madrasah, an Islamic university, this established Timbuktu as a scholarly centre in Africa.
Its three great mosques, Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahya, recall Timbuktu's golden age, even these monuments are today under threat from desertification. Built in the 14th century, the Sankore Mosque was, like the Djingareyber Mosque, restored by the Imam Al Aqib between 1578 and 1582. He had the sanctuary demolished and rebuilt according to the dimensions of the Kaaba of the Mecca. The mosques of Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahia, sixteen mausoleums and holy public places, still bear witness to this prestigious past. The mosques are exceptional examples of earthen architecture and of traditional maintenance techniques, which continue to the present time.
About the stamps
The first stamp is part of a series dedicated to Timbuktu Manuscripts and issued in 2015. The second stamp is part of the series Serval - Le monde au secours du Mali, issued on January 11, 2014, and comprising 5 stamps.
Timbuktu - Wikipedia
Sankore Madrasah - Wikipedia
Timbuktu - UNESCO official website
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