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Tlemcen

Trip Planner Africa  /  Algeria  /  Tlemcen Province  /  Tlemcen
Tlemcen is a city in north-western Algeria, and the capital of the province of the same name. The city has developed leather, carpet, and textile industries, which it ships to the port of Rashgun for export. It had a population of 140,158 at the 2008 census, while the province had 949,135 inhabitants.EtymologyThe origin of the name Tlemcen is uncertain, but the word has a Berber structure. One theory traces the name to the Berber words Thala Imsan, which can mean "the dry spring" or "the fountain of lions". The name is sometimes spelled Tlemsen, Tlemsan, or Tilimsen.The town is the ancient capital of central Maghreb, and was founded by the local Berbers.CultureIts centuries of rich history and culture have made the city a center of a unique blend of music and art. Its textiles and handcrafts, its elegant blend of Berber and Al-Andalusian cultures, and its cool climate in the mountains have made it an important center of tourism in Algeria. It is home to a beautiful tomb - that of Sidi Boumédiène, whose tomb adjoins a mosque. The Great Mosque at Tlemcen was completed in 1136 and is said to be the most remarkable remaining example of Almoravid architecture.HistoryEarly yearsTlemcen was founded by the Romans in the 2nd century CE under the name of Pomaria as a military outpost. It was an important city in North Africa see of the Roman Catholic Church in the century in which it was built, where it was the center of a diocese. Its bishop, Victor, was a prominent representative at the Council of Carthage (411), and its bishop Honoratus was exiled in 484 by the Vandal king Huneric for denying Arianism. It was a center of a large Christian population for many centuries after the city's Arab conquest in 708 AD.
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