Saint Louis Senegal



Keywords: Saint Louis Senegal
Description: Come back towards the Northern district along the banks along the large arm of the river. Started in 1830, the construction of these embankments, surrounding the island, were initiated by Faidherbe,

Come back towards the Northern district along the banks along the large arm of the river. Started in 1830, the construction of these embankments, surrounding the island, were initiated by Faidherbe, to be finally achieved by Roume. First made of wood, and later masonry, they assured the use of the banks as well as offered protection against flooding.

On these embankments were loaded and unloaded the countless merchandise that were central to commerce along the river. Warehouses, aligned one after the other, especially on the northern banks, are a testimony to past prosperity. These commerce houses, owned by families from Bordeaux or Marseilles, generally occupy a whole city block, with a closed off central courtyard; warehouses stocking various merchandise on the river side, and stores on the street side, usually with large wooden doors. Above were the family's apartments and servant quarters, with vast balconies and balustrades.

At the end of the docks, after the French School, is a tall metallic silhouette. It is a 20 ton steam crane. A witness to the fluvial traffic of the time, this steam engine is one of the few remaining of its kind.

From the crane, you continue towards the interior of the North, penetrating into the military quarters. All along the Jean Mermoz Avenues are a succession of military style buildings: the French Consulate and its annexes, the firemen barracks, the military supply corps.

Further away, to the left, the El hadji Omar camp used to hold the ancient armory and was the barracks of the infantry corps called "Tirailleurs Sénégalais" (Senegalese sharpshooters).

From the northern point of the island, looking upriver, you can see the island of Bopp Thior where the first brick factory of the region was located.

Coming back downtown at the limit of the Avenues, the Grande Mosquée, of Maghrebin style, was built by the colonial administration for the growing Muslim population. The bell tower, lodged in the mosque's minaret remains an enigma.

Closer to the center of town, two neighboring buildings stand on the Marie Parsine Abdoulaye Seck Street (ex Brière de l'Isle): the Palace of Justice, built in 1841 and whose monumental wrought iron staircase is greatly admired, and the Military House whose architecture is so well preserved. This last building is said to have been erected on the ancient site of Governor Schmaltz's house, who himself is a survivor of the famous "radeau de la méduse."

All along the path, you will notice the typical character of the city's houses. They are firstly two storied houses with tiled roofing; on the ground floor large rooms primarily used as shops, opened to the street through large wooden doors. On the street side as well as in the courtyard, lined apartments with high wooden ceilings open up to balconies with wrought iron balustrades. The inside of these rooms offers a good respite from the heat. We can also imagine the tranquil life lead by the Signares, the famously beautiful women of both European and African descent that inhabited these houses.

Further away from the center of town, in the North as well as the South, are the low houses, said of Portuguese style. Generally smaller and built in concrete, they are covered by red tiled roofs, usually with two slopes. You can access these through a decorated porch and a wooden doorway. Inside, the aligned rooms open up on a cool veranda.




Photogallery Saint Louis Senegal:



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