قلعة بني حماد

( Qal'at Bani Hammad )

Qal'at Bani Hammad (Arabic: قلعة بني حماد), also known as Qal'a Bani Hammad or Qal'at of the Beni Hammad (among other variants), is a fortified palatine city in Algeria. Now in ruins, in the 11th century, it served as the first capital of the Hammadid dynasty. It is in the Hodna Mountains northeast of M'Sila, at an elevation of 1,418 metres (4,652 ft), and receives abundant water from the surrounding mountains. The site is near the town of Maadid (aka Maadhid), about 225 kilometres (140 mi) southeast of Algiers, in the Maghreb.

In 1980, it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO under the name Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad, and described as "an authentic picture of a fortified Muslim city".

The town includes a 7-kilometre (4 mi) long line of walls. Inside the walls are four residential complexes, and the largest mosque built in Algeria after that of Mansurah. It is similar in design to the Grand Mosq...Read more

Qal'at Bani Hammad (Arabic: قلعة بني حماد), also known as Qal'a Bani Hammad or Qal'at of the Beni Hammad (among other variants), is a fortified palatine city in Algeria. Now in ruins, in the 11th century, it served as the first capital of the Hammadid dynasty. It is in the Hodna Mountains northeast of M'Sila, at an elevation of 1,418 metres (4,652 ft), and receives abundant water from the surrounding mountains. The site is near the town of Maadid (aka Maadhid), about 225 kilometres (140 mi) southeast of Algiers, in the Maghreb.

In 1980, it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO under the name Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad, and described as "an authentic picture of a fortified Muslim city".

The town includes a 7-kilometre (4 mi) long line of walls. Inside the walls are four residential complexes, and the largest mosque built in Algeria after that of Mansurah. It is similar in design to the Grand Mosque of Kairouan, with a tall minaret, 20 metres (66 ft).

Excavations have brought to light numerous terracotta, jewels, coins and ceramics testifying to the high level of civilization under the Hammadid dynasty. Also among the artifacts discovered are several decorative fountains using the lion as a motif. The remains of the emir's palace, known as Dal al-Bahr, include three separate residences separated by gardens and pavilions.

The fortress was built in 1007 by Hammad ibn Buluggin, the son of Buluggin ibn Ziri, and the founder of Algiers. The city became the capital of the Hammadid Berbers, and sustained a siege from the Zirid in 1017. In 1090 it was abandoned under the menace of the Banu Hilal, and was partly destroyed by the Almohads in 1152.[citation needed]

The Qalaa was described by Al-Bakri in the 11th century as a large and powerful military stronghold and a centre of commerce that attracted caravans from all over the Maghreb, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and the Hejaz.[1] Ibn Khaldun also noted that the abundance of travellers was due to the wealth of resources offered to those interested in sciences, commerce and arts. The Qala attracted poets, sages and theologians. The architecture of the Hammadids even influenced that of the Normans.[2]

Excavations began in 1908, resumed from 1952-1956 and continue to this day as most of the site remains unexplored and the aspects of the palaces await further study.[3]

^ Cite error: The named reference :0 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Cite error: The named reference :1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Islamic Palace Architecture in the Western Mediterranean: A History Felix Arnold Oxford University Press
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