The Gobirau Minaret, a 15-meter-tall minaret, is an important piece of historical and cultural heritage located in the heart of Katsina, Nigeria. The minaret was built during the reign of Sarkin Katsina, Muhammadu Korau (1398-1408 AD), who was Katsina’s first Muslim king.
While it was originally built as Katsina’s central mosque in the early 16th century, it was turned into a school after Katsina had evolved into a significant commercial and intellectual center in Hausaland. Over time, It grew into a prominent center of higher Islamic learning.
Though it may not seem like it today, the minaret was once the tallest building in the state, and many regard it as West Africa’s first multi-storey building. The Gobirau minaret’s unique structure was designed and built to reflect the Timbuktu style of architecture.
It became an important center for learning, attracting scholars and students from far and wide, and later served as a kind of university. Gobirau remained Katsina’s central mosque until the early nineteenth century AD when Sarkin Katsina Ummarun Dalaji (1805-1835) built a new mosque.
Architectural preservation serves several purposes. It is sometimes done due to the functions and values of the buildings. Sometimes, they are reminders of a period of national, ethnic, or religious history. The latter is true of the Gobirau Minaret. The people of Katsina State still revere the minaret as a symbol of history, civilization, and craftsmanship.
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