Sannar (Sudan)

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Arabic سنار
Sannar (Sudan)
Coordinates 13 ° 33 '  N , 33 ° 36'  E Coordinates: 13 ° 33 '  N , 33 ° 36'  E
Basic data
Country Sudan


Residents 134,883 (2010)
Sannar in the state of Sannar

Sannar , Arabic سنار Sannār ; also Sennar or Sinnar; is the capital of the Sudanese state of the same name , Sannar . From 1504/5 until 1821 Sannar was the capital of the Sultanate of Sannar (Empire of the Funji).


Sannar is located in the south-east of Sudan, around 280 kilometers south of Khartoum on the western bank of the Blue Nile , which is dammed into a lake by the Sannar Dam near the city . The nearest towns are Kusti , about 100 kilometers southwest and Wad Madani just as far north. Modern Sannar is about seven kilometers south of the junction of the expressway between the two cities.

Nearby is the Sannar Dam , which allows irrigation of the Jazira plain . The city lies on the railway line between Khartoum in the north and al-Ubayyid in the west.

The remnants of the old Funji capital that are barely left are located directly on the banks of the Nile east of the junction. A settlement founded by nomads at the end of the 1970s is expanding on the site of the medieval town.


Sannar has 134,883 inhabitants (2010 calculation).

Population development:

year Residents
1973 (census) 28,546
1983 (census) 42,803
1993 (census) 72.187
2010 (calculation) 134,883


The name Sannar means "rain storm" in ancient Egyptian . There are no remains of the former city. According to later sources, the city was founded in 1504 and was the capital of the independent Sultanate of Funji until 1821 . After that the place was left. According to a report by the traveler Jacques Poncet, Sannar is said to have had around 100,000 inhabitants around 1700.

There were several residential quarters in the sprawling city, which were scattered around the large market on the banks of the Nile. OGS Crawford found the ruins much more destroyed in 1950 than during his first visit in 1913. Ali Osman described in 1982 that several canals, which were supposed to carry away the rainwater, had expanded into wide wadis that reached a depth of three to five meters the area streaked.

The main buildings were a palace, a mosque, marketplaces and cemeteries. In 1910 the well-preserved remains of a small mosque were photographed. It was about 300 meters south of the large market square in the middle of the palace area and had a richly designed entrance, a mihrāb and pillars made of burnt bricks. The situation indicates that Islam must have been the official religion at the time. The building was examined again by Ali Osman around 1980, but he found hardly any remains. The mosque was likely to have been about 10 × 15 meters in size and offered space for a maximum of 100 believers. This seems too small for a Friday mosque in the city of such importance. The typical size of modern mosques in Sudan is around 15 × 15 meters.

There were three marketplaces, one of which was a slave market. The main palace of the Funj rulers is said to have been built in the middle of the 17th century by Baadi II (ruled 1645–1681). According to one description, it had a five-story tower with a council hall and was surrounded by a wall with nine gates. According to other reports, the building was anything but impressive and is said to have looked rather chaotic.

To the northwest of the former city is the Fugara cemetery (plural of Faki , simple Islamic scholars, holy men). The Muslim scholars buried here are still known by name to the local population and enjoy a great reputation. The graves are occasionally visited in order to obtain baraka (power of blessing). In contrast, the names of the famous Funji rulers as well as their burial places have been forgotten.

On June 13, 1821, the city was conquered by Egyptian troops , but they found it to be completely dissolved. On October 22nd, Ibrahim Pascha and his brother Ismael met here who, on behalf of their father Muhammad Ali Pascha, were to continue the conquest of Sudan together. After that, the city sank completely into insignificance. The palace was torn down after the Egyptian conquest of the city in 1821 and was described as a ruin in 1833. When the site was examined in 1982, only foundations could be found.

In the middle of the 19th century the city must have been run down; Egyptian soldiers told Ferdinand Werne, who was traveling to Africa, that the city was called Sinn el-Harr , or “hot mouth”, to which alcohol in the form of Merisa had to be added. In 1885, Caliph Abdallahi ibn Muhammad had the city destroyed.

For 2017, ISESCO has named Sannar together with Jordan's capital Amman as the capital of Islamic culture in the Arab region.

Individual evidence

  1. Page no longer available , search in web archives:@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /
  2. ^ Bernhard Streck: Sudan. Stone graves and living cultures on the Nile. DuMont, Cologne 1982, ISBN 3-7701-1232-6 , p. 202.
  3. ^ Ali Osman: Islamic Archeology in the Sudan. In: Martin Krause (Ed.): Nubian Studies. Heidelberg, September 22-25 , 1982 (= conference files of the 5th international conference of the International Society for Nubian Studies. ). von Zabern, Mainz am Rhein 1986, ISBN 3-8053-0878-7 , pp. 347–357, here pp. 354–356, plan p. 358.
  4. Ferdinand Werne: Journey through Sennaar to Mandera, Nasub, Cheli. In the land between the blue Nile and the Atbara. Duncker, Berlin 1852. After: Bernhard Streck: Sudan. Stone graves and living cultures on the Nile. DuMont, Cologne 1982, ISBN 3-7701-1232-6 , p. 202.
  5. ^ Alfred Brehm : Travels in Sudan. 1847-1852. Edited, edited and introduced by Helmut Arndt. Erdmann, Tübingen et al. 1975, ISBN 3-7711-0204-9 , p. 380 ff.


  • OGS Crawford : The Fung kingdom of Sennar. With a Geographical Account of the Middle Nile Region. J. Bellows, Gloucester 1951.

Web links

Commons : Sannar  - collection of images, videos and audio files