Beni Hammad Fort World Heritage Site

Fortified palatine city in Algeria

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Beni Hammad Fort
قلعة بني حماد
Kalaa des Beni Hammad.5.jpg
Beni Hammad Fort is located in Algeria
Beni Hammad Fort
Shown within Algeria
LocationM'Sila Province, Algeria
Coordinates35°48′50″N 04°47′36″E / 35.81389°N 4.79333°E / 35.81389; 4.79333Coordinates: 35°48′50″N 04°47′36″E / 35.81389°N 4.79333°E / 35.81389; 4.79333
BuilderHammad ibn Buluggin
PeriodsHammadid dynasty
Site notes
ConditionIn ruins
Official nameAl Qal'a of Beni Hammad
Designated1980 (4th session)
Reference no.102
State PartyAlgeria
RegionArab States

Beni Hammad Fort, also called Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad (Arabic: قلعة بني حماد‎) is a fortified palatine city in Algeria. Now in ruins, in the 11th century, it served as the first capital of the Hammadid dynasty. It is in the Hodna Mountains northeast of M'Sila, at an elevation of 1,418 metres (4,652 ft), and receives abundant water from the surrounding mountains. Beni Hammad Fort is near the town of Maadid (aka Maadhid), about 225 kilometres (140 mi) southeast of Algiers, in the Maghreb.

In 1980, it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and described as "an authentic picture of a fortified Muslim city".

The town includes a 7-kilometre (4 mi) long line of walls. Inside the walls are four residential complexes, and the largest mosque built in Algeria after that of Mansurah. It is similar in design to the Grand Mosque of Kairouan, with a tall minaret, 20 metres (66 ft).

Excavations have brought to light numerous terracotta, jewels, coins and ceramics testifying to the high level of civilization under the Hammadid dynasty. Also among the artifacts discovered are several decorative fountains using the lion as a motif. The remains of the emir's palace, known as Dal al-Bahr, include three separate residences separated by gardens and pavilions.

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Nearby Places

  • Beni Hammad Fort
  • Maadid

    Commune and town in M'Sila Province, Algeria

  • Hodna Mountains

    Mountains in Algeria

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