architecture

(Architecture Series) Fasil Ghebbi: the 20-palace complex of 17th Century Ethiopia

BEFORE THE FASIL GHEBBI Up until the 17th century, notably between the 13th and 17th century, Ethiopian emperors did not have any permanent location or structure within their territory in which they resided. They were always on the move with their royal camps referred to as “Katama[1]” Living off the proceeds of their subjects where …

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(Architecture Series) Abu Yemata: The Church in the Sky

THE START OF CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA Abu Yemata Guh is an ancient church located in Ethiopia, the only African country that was never colonised by the Europeans. The roots of the Ethiopian states date to as far back as the 10th century BC[1] with the rise of the D’mt Kingdom before the more popular Aksumite …

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Kingdom of Warsangali (1218-1886AD) : spotlight on Middle Ages African global trade hub

The word “Warsangali,” in the Somali language, means “bringer of good news.” The Warsangali kingdom (Arabic: سلطنة الورسنجلي‎, Somali: Saldanadda Warsangeli) was a mighty kingdom in the North-Eastern and South-Eastern regions of Somalia including Kismayo. The kingdom was founded in northern Somalia, in 1218, by a group of Somalis from the Warsangali branch of the Darod clan. It was established under …

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Gisèle Rabesahala: Visionary and A Human Rights Lawyer

Have you watched “Madagascar”, the cartoon? Seen the inhabitants? Seen it as the island of Lemurs? Have you ever bit the bullet and spent £3,000 for white beaches, fresh fish from the Indian Ocean and a private villa with concierge? When you think Madagascar, do you think “luxury holiday”, think “lemurs” or think Gisèle Rabesahala? Who is Gisèle Rabesahala?

Mamluk Sultanate (1250-1517 CE): Never let a Megalomaniac get in the way of beautiful architecture

Some civilisations sacrificed a work-life balance, art and architectural brilliance to focus on winning wars. One African dynasty found time to fight the Mongol empire and build insane works of beautiful architecture at the same time. “Mamluk” comes from the Arabic “owned” or slave. The Mamluk sultanate was created by slave soldiers and administrators that took over Egypt from the Ayyubid dynasty.

Kingdom of Zimbabwe (1220-1450 AD)

The word Zimbabwe loosely translated to ‘House of Rock’. It is a severely anglicized version of the Shona words dzimba dza mabwe, meaning great stone houses or dzimba woye, meaning esteemed houses. The Shona people were the original inhabitants of the Zimbabwe plateau. These people settled in this area and slowly developed a society of …

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