Sudan Capital City, About Khartoum Tourism and Travel
(Sudan, SD, North-East Africa)
Khartoum is one of the most modern cities in this central part of Africa. Its skyline is a mix of old and new, with high-rise buildings housing the sort of modern facilities you would expect of larger cities. As well as being the capital of Sudan and the centre of Sudanese government, Khartoum is also a busy economic and commercial city.
Above all, the city is dominated by the White Nile and Blue Nile rivers, which come together here. Both of these rivers play a huge role in the way that the city's residents live and work.
The city of Khartoum was first settled in the early 19th century under the leadership of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt. By 1830, it had become the capital of Egypt's Sudanese possessions.
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Perhaps the best known incident in Khartoum's history began in March 1884. The Siege of Khartoum laid by the Mahdi and his followers put the British-ruled Egyptian garrison under huge pressure. Despite a lack of British military aid, General Gordon refused to retreat. He was eventually captured and his fellow defenders were slaughtered. By January 1995, the siege was over. The Mahdi established his capital in nearby Omdurman.
In 1898, Lord Kitchener became Governor-General of Khartoum. A year later, the city was to become the capital of an Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. This was the start of a period of development for the city, with Kitchener leading the rebuilding work. The railway came to town, followed by newspaper offices, a military academy and a cathedral.
In 1956, Khartoum became the capital of the independent republic of Sudan. In the decades that followed, it became home for many refugees who fled to Sudan from neighbouring countries, including Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Khartoum's cityscape is clearly defined by the rivers that flow through it. The Nile, Blue Nile and White Nile neatly divide the city into its three main districts. At the centre is Khartoum, which lies between the White Nile and the Blue Nile, and is the oldest part of the city. Khartoum North (also known as Bahri), which lies to the east and north of the confluence of these two rivers, is a mix of industry and residential. To the west, across a metal suspension bridge, is Omdurman.
The Omdurman district of Khartoum has a distinctly Middle Eastern feel, thanks to its narrow streets and markets. Its best-known thoroughfare is Nile Street, which is home to several colonial buildings, embassies, the Presidential Palace and the National Museum.