Great Mosque of Tlemcen - A Monument to the Almoravids Dynasty

Visitors to foreign countries are often interested in the architecture and buildings that have survived through the centuries, as they reflect and represent the history of a particular city, and the country as a whole. In the city of Tlemcen, a magnificent mosque was constructed in the year 1082, which has retained its beauty and splendor, to become one of the most popular attractions in Tlemcen. The Great Mosque of Tlemcen is a monument to the Almoravids dynasty and the rich history that has shaped Algeria.

The Almoravids established their power at a crucial time, during the collapse of the Muslim Caliphate throughout Northern Africa. With Sultan Yusufibn Tashfin at the helm, the Great Mosque of Tlemcen was authorized for construction, and in 1136, the mosque underwent reconstruction to enlarge the structure, under the supervision of Ali ibn Yusuf. During the reign of Sultan Yaghmoracen, a new section was added to the already exquisite mosque, in the thirteenth century.

There are two main sections in the Great Mosque of Tlemcen and a prayer hall that make up the sixty by fifty meters of the building. Almoravid architecture is known for its elaborate lobed arches and decorative designs, so visitors to the mosque will be astounded at the beauty of the structure. Some features to look forward to, are the breathtaking piers and white horse arches, polylobed arches, the Mihrab dome with its spectacular brick ribs and star patterns, and the peaceful porticoes and courtyard in the trapezium section of the mosque. The vegetal carvings that are found between the ribs of the Mihrab dome are made from plaster, and the creativity and detail to this section is awe-inspiring. The Great Mosque of Tlemcen is truly a work of art and an attraction that will give visitors lasting memories.

 



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