Larabanga Mosque Ghana.jpgThe Larabanga Mosque is a mosque, built in the Sudanese architectural style in the village of Larabanga, Ghana. It is the oldest mosque in the country and one of the oldest in West Africa, and has been referred to as the “Mecca of West Africa”. It has undergone restoration several times since it was founded in 1421. The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has contributed substantially to its restoration, and lists it as one of the 100 Most Endangered Sites. The restoration works have revived the knowledge of mud-plaster maintenance.

The mosque has an old Quran, believed by the locals to have been given as a gift from heaven in 1650 to Yidan Barimah Bramah, the Imam at the time, as a result of his prayers. The mosque, built with mud and reeds, has two tall towers in pyramidal shape, one for the mihrab which faces towards Mecca forming the facade on the east and the other as a minaret in the northeast corner. These are buttressed by twelve bulbous shaped structures, which are fitted with timber elements.

Like other mosques in Northern Region of Ghana, Larabanga Mosque is built in the traditional Sudanic-Sahelian architectural style, using local materials and construction techniques. The mosque is built with mud and reeds, and measures about 8 metres (26 ft) by 8 metres (26 ft). It has two towers in pyramidal shape, one for the mihrab which faces towards Mecca forming the facade on the east and the other as a minaret in the northeast corner. In addition, 12 buttresses of conical shape on the external walls are strengthened by horizontally-aligned timber elements. The architectural style is also known as “flat-footed adobe architecture”. All the structures are given a white wash. The mosque has an old Quran, believed by the locals to have been given as a gift from heaven in 1650 to Bramah, the Imam at the time, as a result of his prayers. The local community has also been supported in a handicraft and tourism project to generate funds not only for meeting the maintenance expenses of the mosque but also improve the economic conditions of the people.

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