The expression fortified castle seems instinctively perculiar of Europe and its medieval knights. But it was in Africa that these buildings were born and spread from the Black Continent

A fortification, fortress, or fort is classically defined as a tall and dense stone fence armed with columns and used to defend a community or place of power. These buildings, especially when defining the castle, are even associated with European identity, its traditional stories and other fairy tales. As we will see in this article, Africa is the source of these complex structures.

Fortress in the pharaonic period

Experts agree that Ancient Egypt was the first fortification. The oldest date from the period before the dynasty, ie about 6000 years ago. The remains of Nekhen, the former capital of the south of the country, are considered the oldest evidence of this. Pharaoh Naré Mari (Narmer), the founder of a united Egypt, was born in Nekhen 5300 years ago. When Naré Mari conquered northern Egypt and connected it with the south, he founded the capital of the north, Men Nafooré (Memphis), which he militarized and fortified to face the enemy.

fotress remains

Throughout its history Egypt has had fortified walls, but that of Buchen, Sudan is considered the most unique. Historically, the development of space began 5,000 years ago. About 3,900 years ago, the warrior Pharaoh, Khakawuré Sen-Useret (Sesostris III), conquered the west of Asia, along with Arabia, Europe on the shores of the Black Sea, and deployed its forces to Sudan.

Although the Egyptians know that they belong to a kind of Sudanese generation, the relationship between the two fellow humans is often difficult and decisive. Therefore, Saint-Useret built several walls, including one in Buchen, the most remarkable of which was maintaining its borders and national security from other black warriors. Buchen Fortchen was used for 1300 years.

Reconstruction of the gigantic Buhen fortress in Sudan, with several ramparts and even canals filled with water diverted from the Nile, to serve as protection. The site covered an area of 13,000m2 and was 150 meters long.
It is absolutely amazing.
One of the last photographs of the remains of Buhen before it was flooded by the waters of the dam on the Nile in 1964
Khakawuré Sen-Useret (Sesostris III)
Buhen Walls kept at the National Museum of Sudan in Khartoum.
On the picture, probably Pharaoh Hatshepsut facing Horo (Horus), her totemic equivalent

The Phoenicians, the first blacks in the Middle East and the first civilization in Europe, also used the fortifications extensively to defend their city-states. Even the prestigious city of Carthage in present-day Tunisia had stone walls.
Reconstruction of the fortified city of Tire in today’s Lebanon, one of the most important Phoenician cities.

Reconstruction of the fortified city of Tyre in modern-day Lebanon, which was one of the main Phoenician citie

The kingdom of Aksum existed in present-day Ethiopia, a former province of Pharaoh Sudan. Before the advent of Christianity in the 4th century, Aksum was a vital (animistic) and pharaonic civilization. In addition to huge obelisks, Aksum allegedly has fortified castles, which were probably built 2000 years ago. Despite the famous fortifications, China began building only at the same time as Ethiopia or earlier.

In Europe, the houses of the Roman Empire, whose history began almost 2,300 years ago, were often made of wood, earth walls or sometimes stones. These stone fortifications were modest compared to what was happening in Africa. Castles became a tradition in Europe only around the 12th century under the influence of Africa.

Moors, the origin of the European tradition of fortified castles.

At the end of the Pharaonic civilization around 300 AD, forts were built in Zimbabwe. Mhanwa was built on a hill and is the oldest building in Zimbabwe civilization. However, the most impressive is the fortified city of Djado in Niger. The remains are abandoned to Africans and generally unknown. They resemble the old developed city. If we believe in UNESCO data, we have come to the conclusion that it was probably built 1500 to 2500 years ago.

The fort in Mhanwa, Zimbabwe, built in the 5th century
The fortified city of Djado in northern Niger. It is located near an oasis, on the borders of northern Africa
The locality was certainly built by the Tubu and perhaps the Kanuri black people

The Western Roman Empire disappeared in 640 when the Arabs came to Africa via Egypt. Decades later, they forcibly suppressed the Black Maghreb. With the rise of this Muslim imperialism, the black Berbers of the Maghreb – also known as the Moors or Saracens – attacked in 711 in Spain and Portugal, Sicily and southern France. Europe is in a semi-barbaric state. Blacks and Arabs re-civilized them.

The African experience of building fortresses in Europe during the Middle Ages is everything. The first was built in 711 by Africans in Gibraltar. The Moors covered their new areas with these sophisticated fortifications. In response to these invasions and Scandinavian attacks, France built several fortresses two centuries later. In the 12th century, Europeans multiplied these buildings and gave them the value they had in their medieval history.

The Moorish fort of Agen in France, defended by Africans against Charlemagne’s armies in the 8th century
14th century illustration
A Moorish fortified castle with the queen at the top and the king on the flag 15th century illustration.
Attention is to be paid to the pointed roofs that are common in European castles today, and that are omnipresent in Western cartoons.
Fortified castles built by Europeans in France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Italy
Moorish fortified castles in Spain and Portugal. What you see was indeed built by black people, extremely black men and women

At the top left you can see the body of water that was already in beech in the Pharaonic era. We add that according to the Christian tradition the owners of the fortified castles were called lords. When these European constructions are inspired by the technology of Islamized blacks, the words they designate come from vitalist black Egyptian populations, as mentioned earlier.

Just as in their European territories, Moroccan black kings continued to build fortifications in Africa. And even when Europeans arrived in Africa in the 15th century to begin slavery terrorism, fortified castles were still in operation. French historian Nicolas Sanson d’Abbeville, based on testimony, said of Khami in Zimbabwe: “The palace is large, majestic and surrounded by towers with four main gates” [1]. Dutch writer Olfert Dapper adds: “We enter through four large doors where the emperor’s guards alternate like guards. They are attached to the outside with towers.” [2]

In the 18th century, the Ethiopians built fortified castles, such as those of Gondar, in the north of the country. Tata (strong) Sikasso in Mali was the last active strong in Africa. It disappeared under the attacks of the French colonial masters, ending the black architectural tradition of almost 6000 years ago.

Ruins of Khami, Mwene Mutapa Empire, Zimbabwe
Remains of a fortification of the Swahili civilization in Kilwa, Tanzania. This building was probably built by Africans around the 14th century
Aerial view of the Gondar fortified castle in Ethiopia
Illustration of the Tata of Sikasso in Mali, known as Tarakoko. It had 3 concentric enclosures. The first one had a perimeter of 9 km!!!!! The exterior walls were 4 to 6 meters high, 6 meters thick at the base and 2 at the top. The second inner wall protected merchants and soldiers. And inside the third, were the king’s and his family’s homes.


  • Military Architecture of ancient Egypt, article by Jimmy Dunn
  • Wikipedia
  • [1] The European slave trade: truth and lies; Jean-Philippe Omotundé, page 75
  • [2] Ditto, page 76


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