The Zirid Dynasty

Algeria has a long history of successful rulers and ancient dynasties that shaped the heritage and future of the country. Control of the land was the motivation behind the continuous shift in power, and the struggles for superior reign over Algeria. One of the dynasties that made a significant impact on Algeria was the Zirid Dynasty, born from the Berber Dynasty and leading to the offshoot of other dynasties that came after them. Exploring their influence on Algeria enables visitors to understand the development of the country, its cities and communities.

The Zirid Dynasty came into being in the tenth century and was made up of Sanhaja Berbers who lived under the rule of the Fatimids. As vassals of this tribe, the governorship of the central Maghreb was given to Ziri ibn Manad. This dynasty therefore ruled on behalf of the Fatimids, as they had decided to move to Egypt as their base during the year 972. The Fatimid and the Zirid Dynasty retained their relationship, even though it was strained at times. The shift in the agreement between these two powers came in 1045, when the Zirid Dynasty made the decision to break away. The Hammadids became the successors of the Zirid Dynasty as a direct result of this dynasty and their contributions.

The Zirid Dynasty also influenced the development of various cities, such as Granada. Due to their arrival the city grew and expanded until it had reached the areas surrounding the Darro. Just south of the city of Algiers, visitors will be able to view the legacy of the Zirid Dynasty, as it is home to a tenth century palace that was commissioned during their reign. It is a massive structure that features four residences, an arcade (which used to lead to the audience hall), and a large courtyard. These remnants might be all that is physically left to appreciate the rule of the Zirid Dynasty, but their legacy lives on, as without them the Hammadid Dynasty would never have arisen, which in turn led to new developments and improvements in Algeria. The Hammadid Dynasty continued to break away from the Fatimid and build on the foundations laid by the Zirids.