The city of Djibouti was founded as a port and naval base in 1888 after the Suez canal opened.
France was anxious to secure its strategic interest in the Red Sea and anchor its military presence despite opposition from Great Britain.
The builders were predominantly Hindu and thats how the city gradually developed its peculiar East Indian style that still dominates today.
Djibouti city houses embellished with archways and balconies, the old train station that survived since the colonial era - they still grace the city.
The French influence can be seen everywhere including street names - famous poets and writers, yet there are also some Russian names like Yuri Gagarin avenue and Moscow street.
Islam is the official religion in Djibouti. Both authorities and society embrace the concept of religious tolerance.