1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Dongola (town)

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DONGOLA, a town of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, which gives its name to a mudiria. It is situated on the W. bank of the Nile, about 45 m. above the 3rd cataract, in 19° 10′ N., 30° 29′ E. Pop. about 10,000. It is 1082 m. S. of Cairo by river and 638 m. N. of Khartum by the same route. Its commercial outlet, however, is Port Sudan, on the Red Sea, 600 m. E.S.E. by steamer and railway. It is a thriving, well-built town; an important agricultural and trading centre. Lignite is found on the east bank of the Nile opposite the town. Founded c. 1812 by Mamelukes who fled to Nubia from the persecutions of Mehemet Ali, the town is called Dongola Makara (New Dongola) to distinguish it from Dongola Agusa (Old Dongola), which it supplanted. It is also called El Ordi (the barracks), a reminiscence of the buildings erected by the Egyptians after their occupation of the town in 1820. The Mahdi Mahommed Ahmed was a native of Dongola. In 1884–1885 the town was the base of the British troops in their advance on Khartum.

Dongola Agusa, 75 m. upstream from New Dongola, now a heap of ruins, was the capital of the Nubian state usually called the Christian kingdom of Dongola. An Arab historian of the 11th century describes it as a large city with many churches, fine houses and wide streets. It is said to have been finally destroyed by the Mamelukes. On a hill near the ruins is a mosque in which is an Arabic inscription stating that the building was opened “on the 20th Rabi el Aneh in the year 717 (June 1, 1317 A.D.) after the victory of Sefeddin Abdallah en Nasir over the Infidels.”