Arch 22 is a commemorative arch on the road into Banjul. It was built in 1996 to mark the military coup d’état of 22 July 1994, through which Yahya Jammeh and his Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council overthrew the democratically elected Gambian government. The arch was designed by the Senegalese architect, Pierre Goudiaby, who also designed the Yundum International Airport at Banjul and the African Renaissance Monument in Dakar, Senegal.
At 35 metres, the arch is one of the tallest structures in the Gambia. It stands on eight columns and has three floors. Access to the upper floors can be made through several elevators and spiral staircases. The first floor is at an intermediate level in the columns. The gallery on the second floor provides an impressive panorama of the city, with the view extending down to the seaport of Banjul and the mangrove forests of Tanbi Wetland Complex. On the top floor is a small textile museum. A statue of the “Unknown Soldier” can be seen near the base of the arch: the soldier has a rifle strapped to his back and carries a baby in one hand while signalling victory (making a V-sign) with the other. Arch 22 is depicted on the back of the 100-dalasis banknote.
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