Tlemcen Museum - A Chronicle of Ancient Battles Lost and won

Located in the North West Region of Algeria, the town of Tlemcen is noted for its flourishing vineyards and olive plantations, as well as its carpet, textile and leather handicrafts. With its centuries of fascinating history and rich culture – a blend of Berber, Arab, French and Andalucian - Tlemcen is a popular tourist destination. Visitors to the town may want to take some time to explore the Tlemcen Museum, which provides an interesting overview of the history and culture of this picturesque Algerian town and surrounding areas.

Originally housed in the Sidi Bel Hassan Mosque in Tlemcen, the museum collection has been moved to a college building which was built in 1905 and is situated at Rue 20 Aout. The Tlemcen Museum occupies two floors of the building and the collection includes a variety of coins and artifacts from the Almoravid (11th century) Merenid and Zianid dynasties. The Merenid and Zianid dynasties struggled for domination of the area in the 13th and early 14th century, each taking and losing rulership a number of times until Tlemcen came under Ottoman rule in the 16th century. Following a decade of resistance, Tlemcen succumbed to the French in 1842.

Carved epitaphs from the royal tomb of Boabdil, the last Moorish King of Granada who died in Tlemcen in 1494 are among the treasures to be seen at the Tlemcen Museum, as well as a marble standard cubit measure bearing the date A.H. 728 (1328). Also displayed at the museum are some superb oil paintings by Algerian artist Abdelhalim Hemeche, dating back to the 1940s.

 



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