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Kasbat Agourai | قصبة اﯕوري

English :

Name : Qasaba of Agouray
Place : Morocco
Construction date/period : Beginning of the eighteenth century
Construction materials : Pisé and stone
Dimensions : 120m x 120m; height 15.30m; towers: 4.90m x 5.10m

The Agouray Qasaba is one of the many fortresses built by the sultan Mawlāy Ismā‘īl (1672–1727) to establish central power throughout his kingdom. The Moroccan historian al-Zāyānī spoke of seventy-six qasabas, of which only thirty have been identified. Thomas Pellow cites the Algouray Qasaba in his account of his imprisonment in 1739. This Christian prisoner, who had served as a professional soldier in Mawlāy Ismā‘īl’s army, mentioned that he was garrisoned there in 1727. At the time, the fortress was part of a group of fortresses established in the region of Meknès and Fez to protect it from the rebellious tribes of the Middle Atlas.

The building is typical of the qasabas of the time, with an enclosure made of quadrangular cob. The walls are crowned with straight merlons on the northern, southern, and eastern sides; the western side is slightly higher because it was raised during a later reconstruction. Traces of the first crenellation’s merlons can still be seen under the current crenellations. The northern, southern, and eastern walls are flanked by three square buttress towers, which are only slightly taller than the walls. However, the southern wall has only two buttressed towers. The corner towers are equally high but with larger dimensions. The Qasaba is entered through a bent door in the middle of the southern side (slightly angled towards the east). The entrance is covered by a two-centred pointed arch, which is surrounded by a double rectangular frame. On the north-east side, the wall has a second door smaller in dimensions than the first.

The inner layout of the qasabas of Mawlāy Ismā‘īl are often composed of barren ground with a few buildings, such as the mosque, the garrison commander’s residence, and the quarters for the guardians. The same layout exists in Agouray, except that today, the mosque and the few remaining structures are virtually all submerged below new constructions. Its construction is in the Moroccan-Andalusian architectural tradition, both in the materials and the technique used. This involved clay and beaten earth, which was the most common construction method for most Moroccan monuments (more widespread since the Almohad era) throughout the Muslim West. Architecture during the reign of Mawlāy Ismā‘īl is typified by the construction of high walls flanked by towers, as well as the crenellations (sawtoothed, pyramidal, and rectangular) that delineate its high points. Functionally speaking, the group of fortresses built by Mawlāy Ismā‘īl throughout Morocco are all related—according to G. Marçais—to an eastern equivalent and to the network of caliphal fortresses of al-Andalus, with their layout inspired by the konak (Turkish type of house)


French :

Nom : Kasbat Agourai
Lieu : Agourai, Maroc
Date/période de construction : XVII siècle [1]

Avec l’avènement de Moulay Ismaïl et jusqu’à la fin du xixe siècle, les sultans alaouites déployèrent tous leurs efforts pour contenir l’avancée vers le Saïss des tribus berbères Sanhaja des Haut et Moyen Atlas ; ainsi ils construisirent un chapelet de kasbah tout autour de Meknès et le long de Trik Es-Soltan ; c’est dans ce cadre que s’inscrit l’édification de la kasbah d’Agourai sous le règne de Moulay Ismaïl qui la dota d’une garnison militaire abritant des soldats avec leurs familles.

La superficie de cette fortification carrée (100 m de côté) atteint un hectare. Les remparts, hauts de 8 mètres, jalonnées d’une série de tours carrées et percés d’une seule grande porte. cette kasbah est le monument le plus célèbre à agourai. [2]

Source : 1 | 2
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