In some coun­tries of the world, it is believed that dirt is a har­bin­ger of trou­ble, in oth­er coun­tries, dirt is the main build­ing mate­r­i­al. The abun­dance of clay soil and clay for­ma­tions pro­vide many of the plan­et’s inhab­i­tants with secure homes. The main fea­ture of raw brick is dura­bil­i­ty. Many build­ings made of this mate­r­i­al have been pre­served for thou­sands of years. Let’s see what famous sights and fortress­es built of clay bricks look like.

clay fortresses

1. Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo is an ancient set­tle­ment in New Mex­i­co that has been inhab­it­ed by peo­ple for 1,000 years. These hous­es are made of raw bricks, the man­u­fac­ture of which con­sists in clay mold­ing and dry­ing in the sun. After the walls are erect­ed, they are cov­ered with plas­ter. This plas­ter is made from clay soil mixed with straw for added strength. The roofs of such hous­es are made of cedar, and the stairs locat­ed on the street lead to the 2nd floor.

2. Arg‑e Bam

Arg‑e Bam was orig­i­nal­ly known as a thriv­ing trad­ing cen­ter on the famous Silk Road dur­ing the Sasan­ian peri­od (224–637 AD). In Bam, they were engaged in the pro­duc­tion of silk, cot­ton, cloth­ing. Locat­ed in south­east­ern Iran, Bam was built entire­ly of mud brick. Thick walls with 38 watch­tow­ers cov­ered an area of ​​6 square kilo­me­ters. About 12,000 peo­ple lived in the city. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, in 2003 the earth­quake in the city of Bam destroyed more than half of the city’s hous­es and his­toric brick strong­holds.

3. Dzhinguereber Cathedral Mosque

The Dzhingue­ber Cathe­dral Mosque was built in 1325. The build­ing con­sists of clay with the addi­tion of wood, straw and oth­er plant fibers. The mosque has 3 large rooms, 25 pil­lar rows, built from east to west, and a prayer hall for 2,000 peo­ple.

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4. Walls of Khiva

A clay wall, about 10 meters high, sur­rounds and pro­tects the city of Khi­va, Ichan-Kala, locat­ed in the Kyzylkum desert, Uzbek­istan. The wall was made of clay bricks. The walls of Ichan-Kala date back to the 5th cen­tu­ry. Clay for the con­struc­tion of the walls was tak­en two kilo­me­ters from the city, in the area called Govuk-Kul. To this day, local clay is used by pot­ters.

5. Chan Chan

Chan Chan is locat­ed in the Moche Val­ley, Peru. This place is a fas­ci­nat­ing com­plex of clay build­ings meant for kings. The wall, 8 meters high, con­tains citadels and pyra­mids. Most of the struc­tures are well pre­served to this day. Dur­ing its hey­day, Chan Chan was a city inhab­it­ed by met­al­lur­gists, pot­ters and car­pen­ters. The low­er class peo­ple lived out­side the walls of the city.

6. Bobo-Dioulasso

The Bobo Dioulas­so Mosque in Burk­i­na Faso is made up of mud bricks and exposed wood, rem­i­nis­cent of the Jinguere­ber Mosque. The mosque is locat­ed on the edge of the city. Cur­rent­ly, the mosque is being recon­struct­ed, which does not use mod­ern mate­ri­als, but those from which the mosque was built.

7. Siwa Oasis

Sit­u­at­ed on an old trade route in the Egypt­ian desert, Siwa was a vital oasis for the trade route. Hav­ing nat­ur­al sources of shade and water, this place has saved many trav­el­ers. With the col­lapse of the Roman Empire, the flour­ish­ing of Siwa began to decline sig­nif­i­cant­ly. Today this place is one of the main attrac­tions of Egypt.

8. Great Mosque of Djenne

The largest mud build­ing in the world, the Sudanese-style Djenne Mosque, is locat­ed in Mali. The first mosque on this site was built in the 13th cen­tu­ry, but the cur­rent mosque is only 100 years old.

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9. Ait Ben Haddou

One of the top tourist attrac­tions in Moroc­co, Ait Ben Had­dou is an incred­i­ble place, a great exam­ple of tra­di­tion­al Moroc­can adobe archi­tec­ture. This place has not only archi­tec­tur­al val­ue, it has also become a real find for the cin­e­ma. These walls have become a film set for such films as: “Glad­i­a­tor”, “Alexan­der”, “Prince of Per­sia”, “Pearl of the Nile”, “The Last Temp­ta­tion of Christ”, and many oth­ers.

10. Shibam

This unusu­al place has earned a well-deserved nick­name: “Desert Man­hat­tan”. Shibam is a city in Yemen with unique high-rise build­ings of the 16th cen­tu­ry, up to 40 meters high. The hous­es are made of mud bricks to pro­tect cit­i­zens from Bedouin raids.