Arch 22

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The July 22nd Arch is a monument that spans the Independence Drive which is the road that leads into the Gambia's capital. A good reason to visit the monument is for the panoramic views you get of the city from the top floor terrace. Here you get a better idea of the place as an island city, encircled by the ocean, the River Gambia and parts of the Tanbi mangroves. The other obvious features you see is are many corrugated rooftops, the large King Fahad Mosque, the National Assembly building and the Supreme Court.

The classical columns house the lifts and staircases which lead up to the cafe. The upper level central bridge houses a small ethnographic museum. Here you will find on display agricultural implements, traditional textile robes, and weapons such as bamboo bows and arrows as well as locally made firearms. There is also the handwritten text of the President's takeover speech and the very stool which he sat upon to make it.

Soon after the opening of the Arch 22 one lift was abandoned having been made unusable due to subsidence caused by the soft soil. Cars have also been banned from driving between the columns and have to take the Marina Parade route instead.

In front of the base of the monument stands a statue of a soldier holding a baby in the middle of a roundabout. Behind the monument towards the city are gilded statues of musicians on rounded, white pedestals. There is also a restaurant set within gardens for refreshments.

Building Details:
The off-white Arch 22, whose height stands at 114 feet high, was built in the period 1994-1996 at a cost of £720,000 (US$1.15 million) by the construction company Gamsen and inaugurated on July 22nd to coincide with the anniversary it commemorates - the coup of Yahya Jammeh.

The hollow-arched pediment which is held up by 8 huge, fluted, Doric columns was designed by the Senegalese architect Pierre Goudiaby (Kujabi) and Amadou Samba.