Timbuktu, also spelled Tombuctou, is a city in Mali. Its historycally important as post on the trans-saharan caravan route. Timbuktu was a centre for the expansion of Islam (1400-1600). Its home of the prestigious Koranic Sankore University and other madrasas. Timbuktu was founded around ad 1100 as a seasonal camp by Tuareg nomads. The city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. In the 14th century, Timbuktu became an important focal point of the gold salt trade.
Its three great mosques, Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahia, recall Timbuktu’s golden age. Although continuosly restored, these monuments are today under threat from desertification.