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Mogadishu is the largest city in Somalia and the capital of the nation.


Literally, Mogadishu stands for "The Seat of the Emperors, Kings and Lord of Persia".


Ancient time

Around 1st century CE, Mogadishu area was regarded as an important location for maritime spices trading between Somalia with kingdoms along the Coast of Indian Ocean.


At that time Mogadishu was already known to the Romans and Greeks as Sarapion.

Ancient time

Middle Ages

Around 850/900 AD, Mogadishu became a pre-eminent city for commerce in the region under the rule of Sultanate of Mogadishu.


Later the well-known Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta travelled there and described Mogadishu “an exceedingly large city” with many rich merchants.


Archaeological excavations have discovered there were already connections with Egypt, China Song Dynasty, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. 

Experiencing Golden Age, Mogadishu was already a city with houses of four or five storeys-high, big palaces and mosques with cylindrical minarets.


Ships from other Kingdom sailed there with cloth, spices, wheat, barley and horses etc. in return received gold, wax and ivory.

Middle Ages

Under Italian Rule

Italy purchased Mogadishu from Ali bin Said of Zanzibar in 1905 and it became the capital of Italian Somaliland.


At that period, some manufacturing companies were founded, agricultural areas in the south near Mogadishu were developed, new buildings were built, transportation between other areas was greatly improved  as thousands of Italians settled thereby.

During World War II,  it was captured by British forces in February 1941 and after the same, Mogadishu was made the capital of the Trust Territory of Somaliland (the former Italian Somaliland) for ten years, giving the Somalis the opportunity to gain experience in political education and self-governance.

Independence and Civil Wars

Both British Somaliland and Trust Territory of Somaliland became independent on 1 July 1960 and united to form the Somali Republic. New Government Somali Republic was formed, new constitution was drafted and Mogadishu continued to serve as the nation's capital.

In October 1969, President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was assassinated. The Supreme Revolutionary Council, which headed by Mohamed Siad Barre, assumed power and renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic. In late 1970s, many government and military officials who under suspicion of participation in the 1978 coup d'étatunder were summarily executed.

After ouster of Barre's increasingly unpopular regime in 1991, many of the opposition groups subsequently began competing for influence in the power vacuum and civil war began. Clashes over Mogadishu between armed factions seeking authority the same.


Until November 2010, a new technocratic government was elected to office, which enacted numerous reforms. 


The new administration and its AMISOM allies had managed to capture all of Mogadishu by August 2011 and militant group al Shabaab withdrawed from Mogadishu.

Mayor Mohamed Nur, who leading the new administration, deciced to start large-scale rehabilitation of roads and general infrastructure, with residents closely cooperating with the civil and police authorities to tighten up on security. 

With the passing of a new Constitution in 2012 and the subsequent election of an inaugural President in the new Federal Government, the mayorship continued to oversee Mogadishu's ongoing post-conflict reconstruction cooperating with the UN, USAID, and DRC.


Building off the initial pilot, the Benadir administration launched a city-wide street naming, house numbering and postal codes project. Officially called the House Numbering and Post Code System, helping the authorities firm up on security and resolve housing ownership disputes.

Interested in the History of Mogadishu? Come and Visit to Explore More!

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