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Tlemcen, Algeria
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Grand mosque. Photo: Noureddine Gori.

Bab al-Qarmadine, Tlemcen, Algeria
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Bab al-Qarmadine.

Ruins of the Mansourah, Tlemcen, Algeria

Ruins of the Mansourah.

Tlemcen, Algeria

City in northwestern Algeria with 180,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate), in the Tlemcen Mountains, at an elevation of 807 metres.
It is the capital of Tlemcen province with 940,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 9,061 km².
The economic base for Tlemcen are olives and wine, carpets, leather goods and textiles.
Tlemcen has excellent road and rail connections with other urban centres of Algeria, and lies also close to the border to Morocco. An airport lies 25 km to the northwest. Oran is 140 km northeast.
Tlemcen is an attractive city with an interesting mixture of Islamic and French architecture. Downtown is French in nature with a tree-lined square.
Tlemcen has as university.

8th century: A town is founded and named Agadir by Idriss 1.
11th century: New founding by Youssif bin Tachfin, and named Tagrart.
1236: The Berber dynasty Zianids choose Tlemcen as their capital. Tlemcen became an important link in the trans-Saharan trade.
1282: Siege by the Merenids. They built the walled city Mansourah.
1337: New siege by the Merenids, short occupation.
1353: Third and the last siege by the Merenids, once again short occupation.
1553: End of the Zianid epoque.
1555: Comes under Ottoman control.
1830: The French take control over most of coastal Algeria. The Ottomans of Tlemcen favoured a cooperation with the French, the Berbers for a union with Morocco.
1834: Abd al-Qadir starts using Tlemcen as one of his bases in his fight against the French.
1842: Tlemcen becomes part of French Algeria.
1962: With the independence of Algeria, Tlemcen becomes part of independent Algeria.

By Tore Kjeilen