A Brief History of the Kingdom of Tlemcen
Countries and cities
15.06.2024 Algeria Tlemcen   11
A Brief History of the Kingdom of Tlemcen

The city Tlemcen, located in northwestern Algeria, is the administrative capital of the province of Tlemcen, a region famous for its lush vineyards and olive plantations. The city has a thriving carpet, textile and leather industry, and its rich culture reflects elements of Islamic, Arab, Berber and Andalusian influence. Ideally located in the mountains, the climate is somewhat cooler than surrounding areas, making it a popular escape from the summer heat for both local and foreign holidaymakers.


The city was founded by the Romans as a military outpost in the 4th century AD, at which time it was known as Pomaria and served as the center of the Roman Catholic Church in the region. The city was conquered by the Arabs in 708 and later became the domain of the Zenata Berber tribe called the Ifranids, and was the last stop on the trans-Saharan oasis trade route. The city maintained its importance as an administrative and commercial center along this route for centuries, despite battles for supremacy in the region between the Almoravid and Almohad tribes. Ultimately, at the Battle of Jebel Nafuz in 1210, the Almohads defeated the Almoravids, and Tlemcen regained its power as the administrative and commercial center of the region.


When Almohad rule collapsed in the 1230s, between 1236 and 1554 Tlemcen came under the rule of a succession of Ziyanid sultans. The bustling city became a link between the coastal trade route and the trans-Saharan caravan routes, facilitating the trade of African gold with the Europeans. . This connection led to a certain integration of Tlemcen into the European financial system. From the early to mid-14th century, Tlemcen was home to a number of wealthy religious foundations and was considered the main intellectual and cultural center of the Central Maghreb. It was also the trade and commercial center of the region: merchant houses in Tlemcen had branches in Sudan and Mali.


The city came under the rule of the Marinid Sultan Abu al-Hasan Ali from 1337 to 1347, where he met resistance from local residents. Over the next two hundred years, Tlemcen saw rulers come and go until, in 1554, the Ottoman Empire overthrew the ruling Zayanid dynasty and granted the city protection, after which it became a vassal of the Sultan in Constantinople. When the French captured Algeria in 1830, Tlemcen became for a time the center of local resistance against the French, but eventually became a vacation spot for French settlers, who left their mark on the city's architecture and culture, as well as the influence of other occupying cultures throughout centuries.

Source: algeria.com

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