Mud Brick Buildings Around The World

Here are some of the most known mud brick buildings around the world


Nicknamed the “Manhattan of the desert”, Shibam is a town in Yemen featuring unique 16th-century high-rise apartment buildings. The tower houses, some 16 stories tall and up to 40 meters high and made out of mud bricks, were built to protect the citizens from Bedouin raids. The mud buildings require constant renovation by the inhabitants in order to protect them from rain and erosion.

mud brick buildings

Great Mosque of Djenne

The Great Mosque of Djenné is a large brick or adobe building in the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style. The mosque is located in the city of Djenné, Mali, on the flood plain of the Bani River. Although the first mosque on the site dates from the 13th century, the construction of the current structure took place in 1907.

mud brick buildings

Siwa Oasis

The Siwa Oasis is an urban oasis in Egypt between the Qattara Depression and the Great Sand Sea in the Western Desert, 50 km east of the Libyan border, and 560 km from Cairo.

mud brick buildings

Bobo Dioulasso Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque of Bobo-Dioulasso is a mosque in Bobo-Dioulasso, Houet Province, Hauts-Bassins Region, Burkina Faso.

mud brick buildings

Chan Chan

Chan Chan is a pre-Colombian city and archaeological site near Trujillo on northern Peru’s desert coast. It was the seat of the ancient Chimú civilization before it fell to the Incas. The vast adobe complex has nine citadels, including the partially restored Tschudi Palace. It also encompasses temples, plazas, and cemeteries. The Museo de Sitio Chan Chan displays stone artifacts, ceramics, and history exhibits.

mud brick buildings

Khiva Wall

Khiva is actually a collection of mosques and madrasahs, found in the Kyzylkum desert of Uzbekistan. Originally constructed 2,500 years ago, purportedly by Shem, Noah’s oldest son, the ancient city was called Ichon-Qala (meaning within the wall). Ichon-Qala is encompassed by Khiva’s Wall, a 10-meter (33 ft) high rampart made of high-quality clay mined from a lake shore in Ghovuk Kul. According to a belief, Mohammed also built the Medina using clay mined from the same location.


Djinguereber Mosque

The Djinguereber Mosque in Timbuktu, Mali, is a famous learning center of Mali built in 1327 and also referred to as Djingareyber or Djingarey Ber in various languages. Its design is accredited to Abu Ishaq Al Saheli who was paid 200 kg of gold by Musa I of Mali, emperor of the Mali Empire.


Arg-e Bam

The Arg-e Bam, located in the city of Bam, Kerman Province of southeastern Iran, is the largest adobe building in the world. The entire building used to be a large fortress containing the citadel; however, because the citadel dominates the ruins, the name of the entire fortress became Bam Citadel.


Bugshan Palace in Hadramaut, Yemen

Built of mud in 1798 CE, Bugshan Palace consists of eight floors arranged in an area of 800 square meters.

Image Credit: Eric Lafforgue