Timbuktu

Timbuktu

Timbuktu () (French: Tombouctou; Tuareg ⵜⵏⴱⴾⵜ Tin Buqt; Koyra Chiini: Tumbutu) is a city in Mali, situated 20 km (12 mi) north of the Niger River. The town is the capital of the Tombouctou Region, one of the eight administrative regions of Mali. It had a population of 54,453 in the 2009 census.

Timbuktu started out as a seasonal settlement and became a permanent settlement early in the 12th century. After a shift in trading routes, particularly after the visit by Mansa Musa around 1325, Timbuktu flourished from the trade in salt, gold, ivory, and slaves. It became part 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 for a short period until the expanding Songhai Empire absorbed the city in 1468. A Moroccan army defeated the Songhai in 1591 and made Timbuktu, rather than Gao, their capital. The invaders established a n...Read more

Timbuktu () (French: Tombouctou; Tuareg ⵜⵏⴱⴾⵜ Tin Buqt; Koyra Chiini: Tumbutu) is a city in Mali, situated 20 km (12 mi) north of the Niger River. The town is the capital of the Tombouctou Region, one of the eight administrative regions of Mali. It had a population of 54,453 in the 2009 census.

Timbuktu started out as a seasonal settlement and became a permanent settlement early in the 12th century. After a shift in trading routes, particularly after the visit by Mansa Musa around 1325, Timbuktu flourished from the trade in salt, gold, ivory, and slaves. It became part 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 for a short period until the expanding Songhai Empire absorbed the city in 1468. A Moroccan army defeated the Songhai in 1591 and made Timbuktu, rather than Gao, their capital. The invaders established a new ruling class, the Arma, who after 1612 became virtually independent of Morocco. However, the golden age of the city, during which it was a major learning and cultural centre of the Mali Empire, was over, and it entered a long period of decline. Different tribes governed until the French took over in 1893, a situation that lasted until it became part of the current Republic of Mali in 1960. Presently, Timbuktu is impoverished and suffers from desertification.

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. Several notable historic writers, such as Shabeni and Leo Africanus, wrote about the city. These stories fuelled speculation in Europe, where the city's reputation shifted from being extremely rich to being mysterious.

History
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View of Timbuktu, French Sudan

Timbuktu was a regional trade center in medieval times, where caravans met to exchange salt from the Sahara Desert for gold, ivory, and slaves from the Sahel, which could be reached via the nearby Niger River. The population (2018 population 32,460) swelled from 10,000 in the 13th century to about 50,000 in the 16th century after the establishment of a major Islamic university (University of Timbuktu), which attracted scholars from throughout the Muslim world. In the 1600s, a combination of a purge by a monarch who accused the scholars of "disloyalty" and a decline in trade caused by increased competition from newly available trans-Atlantic sailing routes caused the city to decline. The first European to reach Timbuktu, Alexander Gordon Laing, did not arrive until 1826, and it was not until the 1890s that Timbuktu was formally incorporated into the French colony of Mali. Today, the city is still inhabited; however, the city is not as geopolitically relevant as it once was.

Typology
Position
72
Rank
2173
Categories
Photographies by: Flickr user: Emilio Labrador Santiago de Chile https://www.flickr.com/people/3059349393/ - CC BY 2.0, Mousssa NIAKATE - CC BY-SA 4.0,