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Black Panther 2: How Wakanda’s Architecture Was Inspired by Real Locations

With the release of Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever, the viewing audience is treated again to a marvelous, Afrofuturist depiction of an advanced African civilization. What many do not realize, however, is that a great deal of Wakanda’s built environment is inspired by actual architecture across the African continent. A river meanders through the center of Wakanda’s sprawling skyscraper-laden capital of Birnin Zana, a metropolis that is completely enveloped by a mountain range, a detail that was directly inspired by the Maluti Mountains that surround the Kingdom of Lesotho in South Africa. The towering Citadel compound that serves as home to the rulers of Wakanda sports characteristics inspired by the Great Mosque of Djenné and the Djinguereber Mosque. A tower built into the side of the mountain points to inspiration from the Kano houses found in Nigeria.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST