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Senegal, Dakar – A Trip to Former French Enclave

Published: 3.4.2015
After couple of week we spent in Iran now we travel thousands of kilometers westwards, to Senegal, a small African country on the Atlantic Ocean shore.

Senegal

Maybe some of you immediately think of the Czech races Loprais and a word Dakar. The famous rally sure is one of the best known things about Senegal yet for us it is of lesser importance.

Even though Senegal is small on African proportions, it sure isn’t as small as small European countries such as Lithuania or Estionia. Senegal covers an area of 196 thousand square kilometers with 14 milion inhabitants.

Dakar, the capital of Senegal is the main engine of Senegalese economy. 2 million people live here. Despite the fact the official language of Senegal is French as the country used to be part of the French colony only small group of educated people use it. The Senegalese people speak other languages such as wolof .

Senegal - Velká mešita

As we have mentioned Dakar already we stay here for a while. Among major tourist attractions is Great Mosque . It was opened in 1964 by Moroccan king Hassan II and Senegalese President Léopold Senghor. The mosque is considered one of the most important religious buildings in Senegal. It also has a minaret that is as high as 67 meters.

We should not forget Senegalese part on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It is the small island of Gorée about two kilometers off the port of Dakar. This island is tightly connected to slave trade.

Senegal

There is the House of Slaves . Even though Gorée was not particularly important place to slave trade (“only” couple of hundreds slaves were deported from here evey year), the house is worth a visit. It is one of the oldest houses on the island. Today it is one of its major tourist attractions which reminds of cruelty related to slave trade.

Most of the houses, including the House of Slaves, were built between the second half of the 18th and the first half of the 19Th century. Another is, for instance, William Ponty’s schook, the maritime museum or d'Estrées fortress where resides the museum of Senegalese history . Other historical buildings originally residential were turned according to the needs of tourist industry. Now these are hotels and restaurants. You can get on the island by ferry which departs every 30 minutes.

Senegal - Monument africké renesance

Another attraction that should be missed by any visitor of Senegal is the African Renaissance monument. This bronze statue was designed Senegalese architect Pierre Goudiaby and is the largest in Africa. The 49 meter statue’s monumental scope stands on a 100 meter hill.

Next week we will continue in our tour across Africa.

Text: Maxim Kucer

Photo: Wikipedia.org: Sbreitinger, Jeff Attaway, Ixtla, Erica Kowal, Delphine Bruyere

 



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