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The Establishments of Almoravids Dynasty in Morocco

When Almoravids, a strong Berber tribe, took control of Western Morocco, in the middle of the 11 th century AD, established the capital of their empire Marrakech. Historians believe that the city was quite imposing to the extent that the whole country was named after it. Morocco was in fact derived from the word Marrakech afterwards. Today, the establishments of Almoravids grab the attention of many tourists who visit Morocco.

Most of the constructions of Almoravids consisted of several types of fortifications at the very beginning. They have built many walls, forts, and some castles. However, with the emerge of Yusuf Ibn Tashfin who started ruling the empire in 1060 and for more than 50 years, many construction activities began taking place. Several buildings constructed by this famous ancient ruler survived until today and still welcomes many tourists who travel to Morocco.

Yusuf Ibn Tashfin constructed himself a fortified palace in Marrakech. The palace was called the House of Stone due to its huge walls and strong fortifications. Despite that all the buildings at the time were constructed out of clay, this palace was imposing as it served as the royal residence of the Almoravids rulers for a considerable period of time afterwards. Almoravids have left many monuments that are often included in many travel packages to Morocco. Some parts of this once great palace is still in one piece and some tourists who spend their vacations in Morocco explore these ruins during their holidays. Afterwards, when Almohads took control of the country, parts of the area where the House of Stone was constructed were used as graveyards to form a wonderful blend between the architectural elements of the two dynasties.

In fact, the architecture of Almoravids dynasty was distinctive due to the fact that it contained a matchless blend between the Berber, Andalusian, and Byzantine styles of architecture and construction. This is why these remarkable constructions still amaze tourists who visit Morocco up till modern times.

Historians assert that Yusuf Ibn Tashfin brought the most skillful artisans from Cordoba in Spain to build public baths, hotels, and many other constructions in his empire. Some of these wonderful establishments welcome some history and ancient architecture fans touring Morocco.

Almoravids dynasty played a major role in the blend between the civilizations of the Berber of Western Africa and Andalusia. There were several delegations of scientists and artisans that traveled between the two dynasties and played an important part in the transfer of knowledge between them. Even in modern times, it is quite common to find Spanish students enjoying a holiday in Morocco and also gaining knowledge about the historical civilizations of the Moroccan Kingdom.

After Almoravids expanded their empire and included many new cities, they gave special attention to the construction of mosques. The Great Mosque of Telmcen in Algeria and the Mosque of Al Qaraweyen in Fes represent the best examples of their distinctive architecture. Several historical mosques are usually included in many travel packages to Morocco.

Another notable example of the architecture of Almoravids is their great dome in Marrakesh. Constructed in the 12 th century AD, the dome was constructed above the ablution area in the Great Mosque of Yusuf Ibn Tashfin in Marrakesh. With the height of 7 meters and the width of around 5 meters, the dome preserved some of its elegance and still welcomes many tourists who travel to Morocco.