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[an error occurred while processing this directive]Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata, Mauritania

[an error occurred while processing this directive][an error occurred while processing this directive] Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata is a World Heritage Site in Mauritania. They are ancient towns that developed between the 11th and 12th century, at the height of the caravan trade across the Sahara Desert. During that period, the Berber tribe brought trade and at the same time introduced Islam to the area.


An old tower in Ouadana, Mauritania
An old tower in Ouadana, Mauritania
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The ksour is a medieval trading center in northern Mauritania. These were created by the trans-Saharan trade routes. They support communities that have evolved their own architecture in the often harsh landscape. The trading settlements preserved by this World Heritage listing are Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata.

Ouadane, also called Wadan, was founded in 1147 by Idalwa el Hadji, a Berber. The Portuguese established their trading post here in 1487, but the town began to decline from the 16th century.


Chinguetti Mosque, Mauritania
Chinguetti Mosque, Mauritania
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Chinguetti was founded in the 13th century. It has a remarkable collection of indigenous Saharan architecture, including dry stone and mud-brick strutures. Noted among the buildings in Chinguetti is its Friday Mosque, which is believed to have the second-oldest minaret in continuous use in the Muslim world.

Tichit, now partly abandoned, is another of the medieval settlements. It is located in the Tagent plateau in south-central Mauritania. A small museum is set up at the site to provide interpretation of its history.


Oualata architecture, Mauritania
Oualata architecture, Mauritania
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Oualata, also called Walata, is located in southeastern Mauritania. It serves as the southern terminus of the trans-Saharan trade route, and grew in importance between the 13th and 14th cednturies. The town was control by the Ghana Empire until the 14th century, when it came under the Mali Empire. The town was visited by Ibn Battuta, the Muslim explorer, in 1352.

Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata was inscribed as a World Heritage Site during the 20th session of the World Heritage Committee in Mérida, Mexico, 2 - 7 December, 1996.

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N20 55 44.004 W11 37 24.996 in region d'lAdrar, region du Tagant and region du Hodh Echchargut, Mauritania
Inscription Year: 1996
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: III, IV, V
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