The Great Mosque of Djenne is the largest mud brick or adobe building in the World and is considered by many architects to be the greatest achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style, with definite Islamic influences. The mosque is located in the city of Djenne, Mali on the flood plain of the Bani River. The first mosque on the site was built around the 13th century, but the current structure dates from 1907. As well as being the centre of the community of Djenne, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Africa. Along with the "Old Towns of Djenne" it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.
The actual date of construction of the first mosque in Djenné is unknown, but dates as early as 1200 and as late as 1330 have been suggested. The earliest document mentioning the mosque is al-Sadi’s Tarikh al-Sudan which gives the early history, presumably from the oral tradition as it existed in the mid seventeenth century. The tarikh states that a Sultan Kunburu became a Muslim and had his palace pulled down and the site turned into a mosque. He built another palace for himself near the mosque on the east side. His immediate successor built the towers of the mosque while the following Sultan built the surrounding wall.