A kasbah ( // , also US: /-/ ; Arabic : قَـصَـبَـة, romanized: qaṣabah, Arabic pronunciation: [qasˤabah] , "central part of a town or citadel"), or variant spelling casbah or qasbah in English, also known as qasaba, gasaba and quasabeh, in India qassabah, in Portuguese alcáçova, and in Spain alcazaba, is a type of medina or fortress (citadel). The meaning of the word kasbah is varied, including "keep", "old city" and "watchtower" or "blockhouse".
In the Maghreb and in Iberia, the Arabic word form of kasbah frequently refers to multiple buildings in a keep, a citadel, or several structures behind a defensive wall. The Spanish word alcazaba is a cognate naming the equivalent building in Andalusia or Moorish Spain. In Portuguese, it evolved into the word alcáçova. In Catalan, the evolution resulted in alcassaba. A kasbah was a place for the local leader to live and a defense when a city was under attack. A kasbah has high walls, usually without windows. Sometimes, like in Tangiers, they were built on hilltops so that they could be more easily defended. Some were placed near the entrance to harbors. Having a kasbah built was a sign of wealth of some families in the city. When colonization started in 1830, in northern Algeria, there were a number of kasbahs that lasted for more than 100 years.
The word kasbah may also be used to describe the old part of a city, in which case it has the same meaning as a medina quarter. Some of the prominent examples of kasbah as an old city is the Casbah of Algiers and the Casbah of Dellys. In Turkish and Urdu the word kasaba refers to a settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city; in short, a town. In Serbo-Croatian, kasaba (Cyrillic: касаба) means an undeveloped, provincial small town. In India, a qasbah is a small town distinguished by the presence of Muslim families of rank.
In Al-Bahah and Asir provinces of Saudi Arabia and in Yemen, the word "qasaba" usually refers to a single stone or rock tower, either as part of a tower house or a tower isolated on a hilltop or commanding a field. The Encyclopædia Britannica defines it as: "Ancient qasaba ("towers") found in the province were used as lookouts or granaries."Another book describes these towers as follows: "Apparently unique to Asir architecture are the qasaba towers. Controversy surrounds their function - some argue that they were built as lookouts, and others that they were keeps, or even granaries. Perhaps it is a combination, although the right position of a watchtower, on a hill top, is the wrong place for a keep or granary." Archeologists have found images of similar towers in the ruins of Qaryat al-Fāw, in the Rub' al-Khali or the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia, that date from between the third century BCE to the 4th century or our era. "Homes rose two stories, supported by stone walls nearly two meters (6') thick and boasting such amenities as water-supply systems and second-floor latrines. One eye-catching mural faintly depicts a multi-story tower house with figures in the windows: Its design resembles similar dwellings today in Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia." "Most of the qasabas have a circular plan, although some are square. Sometimes they have a band of quartz stones just below the windows or framing the windows- one well preserved examples is at the top of Wadi Ain. The remains of a martello tower-like stone structure are just off the dirt track north of Al-Masnah. It appears to be an interesting antecedent of the Asir farmhouse and perhaps closely related to the qasaba. It is in ruins now, but was once a dwelling and is strongly defensive." One account says about a traditional village in Al-Bahah, Saudi Arabia: "Even the road that leads to the village is impressive, and several historical stone and slate towers dot the way. Al-Bahah Province is known as the region of 1001 towers, once built to protect villages, roads and plantations from rivalling tribes. Today, these towers are abandoned, and many of them are partially or completely in ruins."
Meknes is one of the four Imperial cities of Morocco, located in northern central Morocco and the sixth largest city by population in the kingdom. Founded in the 11th century by the Almoravids as a military settlement, Meknes became the capital of Morocco under the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismaïl (1672–1727), son of the founder of the Alaouite dynasty. Moulay Ismaïl created a massive imperial palace complex and endowed the city with extensive fortifications and monumental gates. The city recorded a population of 632,079 in the 2014 Moroccan census. It is the seat of Meknès Prefecture and an important economic pole in the region of Fès-Meknès.
The Casbah (Arabic: قصبة, qaṣba, meaning citadel is specifically the citadel of Algiers in Algeria and the traditional quarter clustered around it. In 1992, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization proclaimed Kasbah of Algiers a World Cultural Heritage site, as "There are the remains of the citadel, old mosques and Ottoman-style palaces as well as the remains of a traditional urban structure associated with a deep-rooted sense of community."
Ouarzazate, nicknamed the door of the desert, is a city and capital of Ouarzazate Province in Drâa-Tafilalet region of south-central Morocco. Ouarzazate is at an elevation of 1,160 metres (3,810 ft) in the middle of a bare plateau south of the High Atlas Mountains, with a desert to the city's south.
A tower house is a particular type of stone structure, built for defensive purposes as well as habitation. Tower houses began to appear in the Middle Ages, especially in mountainous or limited access areas, in order to command and defend strategic points with reduced forces. At the same time, they were also used as an aristocrat's residence, around which a castle town was often constructed.
Abha is the capital of 'Asir Region in Saudi Arabia. It is situated 2,270 metres above sea level in the fertile Asir Mountains of south-western Saudi Arabia, near Asir National Park. Abha's mild climate makes it a popular tourist destination for Saudis.
Asilah, also written Arzeila, is a fortified town on the northwest tip of the Atlantic coast of Morocco, about 31 km (19 mi) south of Tangier. Its ramparts and gateworks remain fully intact.
Al Bahah is a city in the west of Saudi Arabia in the Hejaz area. It is the capital of Al Bahah Region, and is one of the Kingdom's prime tourist attractions. It enjoys a pleasant climate and is surrounded by more than forty forests, including Raghdan, al Zaraeb and Baidan. Al Baha is the headquarters of the Governor, local councils and branches of governmental departments. Receiving the state's special attention, the city of Al Baha abounds in educational, tourist and health institutions. It is considered the capital of the Ghamdi and Zahrani tribes in Saudi Arabia, and most of its inhabitants are from the native tribes.
Baljurashi or Biljurashi is a city in Al Bahah Region, south-western Saudi Arabia. It is located at aroundin the elevation of cca 2,000 metres. It was the capital of the region which includes the tribes of Ghamid and Zahran. It is a medium-sized city in Al Bahah Region. The temperature usually varies between 2 °C (36 °F) in winter and 30 °C (86 °F) in summer. The best time for a visit is from mid-August till the end of September. Most of the native people of Baljurashi live outside it; however, a great number of them spend their summer vacations in the city, which explains the massive increase in population number during summer.
Tihamah or Tihama refers to the Red Sea coastal plain of the Arabian Peninsula from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Bab el Mandeb.
The Alcazaba is a palatial fortification in Málaga, Spain. It was built by the Hammudid dynasty in the early 11th century.
Bab Agnaou is one of the best-known gates of Marrakesh, Morocco. Its construction is attributed to the Almohad caliph Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al-Mansur and was completed around 1188 or 1190.
The Kasbah of the Udayas is a kasbah (citadel) in Rabat, Morocco. It is located at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river, opposite Salé, and adjacent to the old medina of Rabat. It is listed, along with other sites in Rabat, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Saudi Arabian art should be understood in the light of the country being the birthplace of Islam and to include both the arts of Bedouin nomads and those of the sedentary peoples of regions such as the Hejaz, Tihamah, Asir and Najd.
Ajama also known as Suq-El-Ajama or Rabu' el-A'jama , Arabic: العجمة) is a village in the sub-governorate of Bariq in the province of Asir, Saudi Arabia. It is located at an elevation of 375 metres (1,230 ft) and has a population of about 1,000 to 2,000. It was the capital of The Humaydah tribe. Kinahan Cornwallis Said (1916), suq el-ajamah a large village of about 300 stone houses, former seat of a Turkish markaz and the most important market of the neighbourhood.
HUSNAYN, Arabic: الحصنين) is a village in the sub-governorate of Bariq in the province of Asir, Saudi Arabia. It is located at an elevation of 396 metres (1,299 ft) and has a population of 2,000 (1970). It is connected with the main road by a 9.8 Kilometer.
Kasbah Mahdiyya is a kasbah located near the city of Kenitra, Morocco. It is situated at the downstream of Sebou River in the vicinity of the Atlas Mountains, 12km from the city of Kneitra. The kasbah was built during the era of Almohad sultan Abd al-Mu'min, and restored during the Alaouite period in the 17th century.
The Barrima Mosque is a mosque in Marrakesh, Morocco, attached to the Kasbah (citadel) and Royal Palace of the city. It was built in the late 18th century by the Alaouite sultan Muhammad ibn Abdallah.
The Kasbah of Marrakesh is a large walled district in the southern part of the medina of Marrakesh, Morocco, which historically served as the citadel (kasbah) and royal palace complex of the city. A large part of the district is still occupied by the official royal palace which serves as the residence of the King of Morocco when visiting the city, while the rest is occupied by other neighbourhoods and monuments.
The Kasbah of Moulay Ismail is a vast palace complex and royal kasbah (citadel) built by the Moroccan sultan Moulay Isma'il ibn Sharif in Meknes, Morocco. It is also known, among other names, as the Imperial City or Palaceof Moulay Ismail, or the Kasbah of Meknes. It was built by Moulay Isma'il over the many decades of his reign between 1672 and 1727, when he made Meknes the capital of Morocco, and received occasional additions under later sultans.
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