The Algerian city of Tlemcen has been named in lieu of the word ‘Tlemsan’ in Berber language which means ‘Dry Spring’. In fact, this modern-day city traces its origins from the erstwhile Algerian capital of Maghreb, which was located around the same area. Since it was the African Berbers from the early medieval times who had occupies this land and contributed to the forming of the city, some of the most striking examples of the Almoravid Architecture can be witnessed here.
Take the majestic Great Mosque of Tlemcen for instance. Despite dating all the way back to 1136 AD, the sheer beauty of the building, finesse of décor elements and the overall strength and grandeur makes it one of the most resplendent structures across the whole of Africa.
Ethnography And More…
Did you know that it was the Romans who initially founded this city, as opposed to the popular perception that it was the Islamists who founded it first? Back then in 2nd century AD, it was termed as Pomaria, and it happened to be quite strategic for the Romans from the military point of view.
The next major dynasty to establish their stronghold over Tlemcen was the Zayannid Empire. Under the Zayannids rule which lasted for more than 3 centuries, the flourishing of Islamic culture and glory happened in a big way. The Zayannid Emperors were staunch followers of Islam, and they helped in spreading the word of Islam far and wide across the kingdom.
They constructed a number of glorious structures, commissioned religious texts and some really beautiful works of art, the remnants of many of which can be viewed in the display section of the National Algerian Museum today. Finally, this area became a part of the huge Ottoman Empire, and the Islamic traditions and beautification reached their absolute pinnacle.