Description of Kong, Capital of Samori Touré, in 1892

Cote dIvoire_Kong_Une Mosquée de Kong 1892
A mosque in Kong, 1892

Below is a description of Kong, the last capital of Samori Touré, by a French explorer back in 1892. In 1892, it was a delight to the eyes, and even the French explorers and conquerors were stunned by its beauty! Enjoy!


Cote dIvoire_Binger Arrivée_à_Kong-1892
Arrival of the French explorer Louis-Gustave Binger in Kong in 1888

Kong is infinitely less dirty that Bondoukou, even though its population is six (6) or seven (7) times higher. The deleterious miasmas are less persistent probably because of the altitude (about 700 meters). At these heights, the wind beats any infection. Built on an elongated rump, the city is freshened up by the least breeze. The surroundings, except a few groups of large trees used as sheds for animals, are deforested as far as the eye can see. At this time of the year, this immensity is of a deep green similar to English lawns, the whole landscape is of an exquisite charm. – And the grace, charm, are rare things on this

Samori Touré

morose continent ! – The city, especially from the northwest, gilded by the setting sun, with its pyramidal minarets of its five mosques, the palm trees separating their thin silhouette from the sky, the superimposed terraces where groups of faithful appear at the time of prayer, is an unforgettable vision.  This is how Binger saw Kong for the first time, and I can imagine what must have been his surprise.

Marcel Monnier, France Noire, Plon ed. Paris, p. 204, 1894 . Translation to English by Dr. Y.

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