Tlemcen and the notion of “Islamic city”: Between reference texts and effective model

Amine M. Kasmi, Messaoud Aiche, Nabil Ouissi

Rezumat/Abstract. On the question of the archetypal model of the Islamic city, several oriental researchers and orientalists tried to give some answers, each considering on his part on a specific aspect to the originality of these cities. Some even expressed great skepticism toward the concept of “Islamic city” as an urban ideal of the Muslim world. The purpose of this study is to confront various visions having a theoretical interest on this issue in order to trace the characteristics of the case study. As such, the medina of Tlemcen, capital of central Maghreb for nearly three centuries, is a privileged analysis field to study the type organization of Arab-Muslim cities. Thus, the hypothesis put forth is that this Medina had, in medieval and Ottoman period, a spatial configuration fully aligned with the model of “Islamic cities”; corroborating the idea of the existing common features shared by the historic cities of the Islamic world.

Cuvinte cheie/Key words: "Islamic city", functional centrality, urban morphology, Islamic housing

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