The Tinmel Mosque, universal heritage, demolished by the Al Haouz earthquake

The violent Al Haouz earthquake caused the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in remote villages of the High Atlas, a death toll that is rising as rescue efforts continue. In addition to the hundreds of lives lost and many injured, the devastating tremors also led to the destruction of a treasure of universal heritage.

Tinmel is an ancient Berber locality from the 11th century nestled in the Moroccan High Atlas, in the heart of the country of Goundafa (Tagountaft in Berber), more precisely in the valley of Oued N’Fiss (Assif Ounfis in Berber), 100 km south of Marrakech. It falls under the province of Al Haouz and the caïdat of Talat N’Yaaqoub.

Tinmel was the stronghold of Mohammed Ibn Toumert and, at the beginning of the 12th century, the starting point of the Almohad military campaigns against the Almoravid dynasty. With the capture of Marrakech in 1147, Tinmel became an essential place of pilgrimage. A large mosque was erected in memory of Mohammed Ibn Toumert, a rigorous theologian then considered the “Mahdi” by the Berbers. Additionally, the mausoleums of the first three Almohad caliphs, namely Abd al-Mumin, Abou Yacoub Youssouf, and Abou Youssouf Yacoub al-Mansour, are also located in Tinmel.

After the decline of the Almohad dynasty, the city lost its splendor, particularly its royal palace. However, it remained a place imbued with spirituality. The Tinmel mosque is emblematic of the Almohad dynasty, and its architectural model influenced the Maghreb over the following centuries.

Tinmel Mosque, universal heritage, demolished by the Al Haouz earthquake

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Translated to English from Challenge Media article

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