Ksar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Qsar)
Jump to: navigation, search
Ruins of the ksar at Timimoun, Algeria

Ksar, plural ksour (Maghrebi Arabic: قصر qser, plural qsur) is the North African Meghrebi Arabic term for "castle", possibly loaned from Latin castrum. The term generally means a fortified village.

Related terms[edit]

The counterpart of Maghrebi ksar in literary Arabic, qaṣr, means "castle" or "palace"[1] and it is found in this form elsewhere in the Muslim world.

The Berber (Amazigh) original word for "ksar" used in North Africa by the Berber-speaking populations is aghrem (singular) or igherman (plural). In the Maghreb, the term has a more general meaning of "fortified village,"or "fort". The Berber word igherman might be a cognate word, with an identical meaning, with the word Garamantes, which is the name of the ancient Berber city-states in modern-day Libya.

Architecture[edit]

Ksour in the Maghreb typically consist of attached houses, often having collective ghorfa (granaries) and other structures like a mosque, bath, oven, and shops. Ksour / igherman are widespread among the oasis populations of North Africa. Ksars are sometimes situated in mountain locations to make defense easier; they often are entirely within a single, continuous wall. The building material of the entire structure is normally adobe, or cut stone and adobe. The idea of the ksar as a granary is a confused notion of two things, the granary itself, found within a ksar, and the ksar, which is a village, normally with granaries within it. Ksars form one of the main manifestations of Berber architecture.

Places named Ksar[edit]

The word is part of place names across Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, — the region called the Maghreb; and is particularly prevalent on the Saharan side of the various ranges of the Atlas Mountains and the valley of the Draa River.

View of Ksar Hallouf, Tunisia

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hans Wehr, J M. Cowan. A dictionary of modern written Arabic. Third Edition. Ithaca, N.Y.: Spoken Language Services. p. 768.

External links[edit]

  • www.ksour-tunisiens.com Complete documentation of all ksour of southern Tunisia, Herbert Popp & Abdelfettah Kassah