Chinguetti City Mauritania

Chinguetti City Mauritania

Founded in the 13th century as the center of several trans-Saharan trade routes, this small city continues to attract a handful of visitors who admire its spare architecture, scenery, and ancient libraries. The city is seriously threatened by the encroaching desert; high sand dunes mark the western boundary and several houses have been abandoned to the sand.

Rising like a mirage on the edge of Mauritania’s vast Erg Warane sand dunes, the ancient city of Chinguetti has welcomed travelers seeking shelter from the blistering Saharan heat for more than 1,200 years. Founded in the 8th Century as a caravan stop for pilgrims en route to Mecca, this red-stone desert oasis eventually blossomed into one of the biggest centers of science, religion, and mathematics in West Africa.

As pilgrims and scholars came and went, many left religious texts, scientific studies, and historical manuscripts. In fact, so many of these historical documents accumulated over the years that during Chinguetti’s peak between the 13th and 17th Centuries, this thriving city boasted 30 libraries.

Today, five of these original libraries remain and a team of loyal custodians humbly guards more than 1,000 priceless medieval Quranic manuscripts against the sand, wind, and heat. But as the Sahara continues to expand southward at an alarmingly fast rate and encroach on Chinguetti’s flat-roofed buildings, and with climate change recently causing seasonal flash flooding to rip through the town, the future of these Islamic treasures remains in jeopardy.

Things to do in Chinguetti city Mauritania

Chinguetti is one of the historical towns of Mauritania and the history is unbeatable see some of the top places to visit while in Chinguetti

Bibliotheque habott

There are around 5 privately owned libraries of ancient manuscripts in Chinguetti. Their significance cannot be overstated as they are original historical artifacts whose translation was ultimately responsible for kick-starting the European renaissance. The owners of these libraries regard themselves as custodians of the manuscripts. Not the Koran but Aristotle and Galen.

Chinguetti mosque

The Chinguetti Mosque is a Mosque in Chinguetti Mauritania It was an ancient center of worship created by the founders of the oasis city of Chinguetti in the Adrar region of Mauritania in the thirteenth or fourteenth century The minaret of this ancient structure is supposed to be the second oldest in continuous use anywhere in the Muslim world.

How to get to Chinguetti city Mauritania

Cars go from Atar to Chinguetti for 2000 UM per person. Be at the place at around 08:00 as they depart at different times each day but we recommend an organized safari package where you will have a private vehicle at your disposal during your visit.

Where to stay in Chinguetti city Mauritania

There are plenty of Auberges, with beds for as little as 1500 ouguiya. Camping just outside the city is also a popular option. Unfortunately, with the collapse of tourism in the Sahel, many hotels have been forced to close.

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