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In many areas of the world, mud is considered as an annoyance. But in the other areas of the globe, mud has been considered as a chief building material. There is plenty of Clay soil on this planet that is providing its inhabitants with sturdy homes. Durability of the mud building is the most remarkable thing about mud brick structures. Some mud buildings are lasting for a thousand years. A list of some of the amazing mud brick buildings around the world is provided here.
10 Amazing Mud Brick Buildings:
10. Taos Pueblo
Located in Mexico, Taos Pueblo is an ancient dwelling, which is continuously inhabited for about 1,000 years by the Pueblo indigenous people. Sun dried mud bricks are used to make the mud brick homes and coated with an adobe plaster. One type of clay soil named caliche, is used to make the southwestern adobe. Straw is mixed with it for added strength. As part of a village ceremony the walls are re-plastered annually. The walls are thick and cedar trees are used to make the roofs. To reach the second floor ladders are used from the outside of the dwellings.
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9. Arg-e Bam
Bam had its beginnings during the Sassanian period (224-637 AD) as a flourishing trading center on the legendary Silk Road. Silk and cotton garments are produced in Bam for trade. Bam is located in southeastern Iran. Mud bricks made of clay soil and palm tree trunks are used to construct the Bam.
38 watchtowers and thick walls protected the citadel that covered 6 square kilometers. There are a series of underground water canals that support about 12,000 people. More than half of the city was unfortunately destroyed in the 2003 earthquake in Bam and the amazing mud-brick buildings of the citadel.
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8. Djinguereber Mosque
Located in Mali in West Africa, Timbuktu earned its reputation for being difficult to access. In 1325, the Djinguereber Mosque was built. It is a reminiscent of American southwest’s Viga structures. This amazing mud brick building boasts unusual looking minarets with timbers poking out.
The Djinguereber Mosque maintains its form due to the sparse rain in Mali. The mosque is made of mud and straw and it is strengthen from its constant sun baths. Similar to the most of the mud buildings in the world, this building also once sat on a busy camel-traveled gold and salt route.
7. Khiva Wall
Located in the Kyzylkum desert of Uzbekistan, Khiva is another desert sanctuary. It is actually a collection of mosques and madrasahs. Allegedly Noah’s oldest son, Shem constructed the ancient called Ichon-Qala (meaning within the wall) 2,500 years ago. Khiva’s Wall encompasses the Ichon-Qala. This amazing mud brick wall is a 10 meter (33 ft) high rampart made of high quality clay. From a lake shore in Ghovuk Kul, the clay was mined. It is said that Medina was built using clay mined from the same location by Mohammed.
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6. Chan Chan
Located in the Moche Valley of Peru, Chan Chan is a fascinating complex of adobe mud buildings intended for the Chimu kings. A high wall of 8 meters (26 ft) encloses eleven citadels and a pyramid. Apparently, many of the structures are perfectly preserved. Chan Chan contained large walk in wells in its prime.
The Chimu were skilled metallurgists, potters and woodworkers. Royalty and their servants dwelled inside the walls while the lower class peoples lived outside the walls of Chan Chan. Archaeologists discovered warrior statues carved into the wall of the Sea Palace in 2006.
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5. Bobo Dioulasso Grand Mosque
Located in Burkina Faso, the Bobo Dioulasso Grand Mosque is a century old West African mosque. Similar to the Djinguereber Mosque in Timbuktu in style, the amazing mud brick building has timbers sticking out of its wall. Because the building is made with clay and timbers, the timbers are placed that way to allow workers to scale the structure for adding extra layers of clay.
The mosque is positioned on the edge of the old city. It is surrounded by nasty odors because of a nearby highly polluted stream. Currently, cement is being used instead of traditional clay to restore the Old Mosque of Bobo, as locals call it.
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4. Siwa Oasis
Karsheef – a local type of mud that makes up the desert oasis of Siwa is used to make the fortified buildings. Unique sand from the lake shore that is high in salt content is used to make Karsheef. Located in the western Egyptian desert on an old date trade route, Siwa was an oasis vital to the trade route. The natural springs and shade giving palm trees provide a respite to the travelers from the desert. Siwa began its decline with the collapse of the Roman Empire. Siwan Berbers live in Siwa now. They are of North African descent. Siwa is one of the top tourist attractions in Egypt.
3. Great Mosque of Djenne
Located in Mali, the Djenné Mosque is built in Sudanese style. This amazing mud brick building is the largest mud building in the world. Timbers jut out from the Djenné Mosque for support and to make the annual re-plastering easier. Around the 13th century, the first mosque on the site was built. But the current structure is about a century old. At one time, Djenné was the sister city of the ancient Timbuktu. At the foot of the mosque the colorful and varied outdoor market of the city is put on and is a must-visit!
2. Ait Benhaddou
Ouarzazate is one of the top tourist attractions in Morocco. With its clay made Kasbahs, it is an incredible looking place. Ouarzazate looks as if it were a made to order movie set. Many films have been made there. In fact you may already have seen Ouarzazate in Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars and Gladiator to name a few. Ouarzazate is a famous resting point for travelers to and from other destinations as it sits on the edge of the Sahara Desert.
Ouarzazate features plenty of shopping and hotels. One of the ancient walled cities of Ouarzazate is the Aït Benhaddou. 6 kasbahs are positioned inside the high mud walls with a small number of homes, where roughly 8 families live. This dry region has few rivals for the photographer. In the late afternoon and during sunset, it is said to be the most beautiful.
Shibam is a town in Yemen featuring unique 16th century high rise apartment buildings. Shibam is nicknamed as the “Manhattan of the desert”. Some 16 stories tall and up to 40 meters high tower houses were built to protect the citizens from Bedouin raids. The tower houses are made entirely of mud. In order to protect them from rain and erosion, the amazing mud brick buildings have to be maintained and frequently renovated by the inhabitants.
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