History Podcasts

Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania

Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania


The final resting place of King Juba II & Queen Cleopatra Selene II

The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania is a tomb located on the road between Cherchell and Algiers in Algeria.

The Mausoleum is the tomb where the Berber King Juba II and Queen Cleopatra Selene II, the last king and queen of Mauretania, are buried. Cleopatra Selene II was the only daughter of the famed Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and her husband Mark Antony.

The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania. Photo Credit

Cleopatra Selene II was the daughter of Mark Antony, Roman Triumvir, and the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII. Photo Credit

The Mausoleum was built in 3 BC by King Juba II himself, intended not just for him and his wife, but as a dynastic funeral monument for their royal descendants.

The sepulcher is sometimes known as the Mausoleum of Juba and Cleopatra Selene. Photo Credit

The tomb is famous by numerous names. In French, it is called “The tomb of the Chrisitan woman” because there is a cross-like shape of the division on the false door. In Arabic, the mausoleum is called the Nubr-er-Rumia or Kbor er Roumia, which means “The tomb of the Roman woman”.

The monument is entirely built from stone. Photo Credit

This mausoleum is a common type of ancient mausoleums found in Numidia.

The architectural type of the monument originates from the various Ancient Greek mausoleums from Anatolia and Egypt.

It is entirely built from stone, and its main structure is in a circular form with a square base topped by a cone or a pyramid.

At the end of the 18th century, Baba Mahommed tried in vain to destroy the monument with artillery. Photo Credit

The square base measures 60 to 60.9 meters square, or 200 to 209 foot.

The height of the monument was originally about 40 meters, but due to damage that the mausoleum has suffered from natural elements and vandalism, the monument now measures 30-32.4 meters in height.

The base of the monument was once ornamented with 60 Ionic columns whose capitals were stolen.

Inside, the center of the mausoleum has two vaulted chambers, which are separated by a short passage connected by a gallery outside by stone doors which can be moved up and down by levels.

The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania is a part of a unique archeological site along the road from Cherchell to Tipaza. Photo Credit

In 1982, the nearby archaeological sites containing monuments from the Byzantine and the Phoenician ages, including the mausoleum, were recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Due to the constant problems, these archaeological remains face an indeterminate future. Photo Credit

Due to expansions of the city, the archaeological ruins and the mausoleum are under constant threat of vandalism and deterioration, and in 2002 the site was placed on the World Heritage in Danger listing.


The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania

The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania is a tomb located on the road between the cities of Cherchell and Algiers, in Algeria. It is the final resting place of Berber Juba II and Cleopatra Selene II, who were the last king and queen of Mauretania. Cleopatra Selene II was the only daughter of the famed Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and her husband Mark Antony. The mausoleum was built in 3 BC by King Juba II himself intended not just for him and his wife, but as a dynastic funeral monument for their royal descendants.

The tomb is known by various names. It is sometimes referred to as the Mausoleum of Juba and Cleopatra Selene. The French call it Tombeau de la Chretienne or "the tomb of the Christian woman", because there is a cross-like shape of the division lines on the false door. In Arabic, the mausoleum is called the Kubr-er-Rumia or Kbor er Roumia, which means the tomb of the Roman woman.

The mausoleum was constructed according to ancient mausoleums found in Numidia and their architectural design originated from mausoleums found in Egypt and Anatolia. The circular mausoleum is built from stone and stands on a square base with a pyramid or cone like structure at the top. The tomb measures between 60 to 61 meters in diameter and was originally believed to be 40 meters tall. Time and natural elements have reduced its height to about 30 meters.

The monument has been the victim of pillage very early on. The base of the monument was once decorated with 60 Ionic columns whose capitals were stolen. In the center of the tomb are two vaulted chambers (whose contents were probably also plundered by treasure seekers), that can be reached by a spiral passage nearly seven feet in height and 489 feet in length. The burial chambers are separated by a short passage, and are cut off from the gallery by stone doors made of a single slab which can be moved up and down by levers.

Early rulers tried to destroy the monument. In 1555, the Pasha of Algiers gave orders to pull down the mausoleum, but the effort was abandoned when large black wasps swarmed out and stung some of the workers to death. At the end of the 18th century, Baba Mahommed tried in vain to destroy the monument with artillery. Later, when the French occupied Algeria the monument was used by the French Navy for target practice. Finally, in 1866 it was explored by order of the Emperor Napoleon III, after which the site was ordered to be protected and preserved.

In 1982, the mausoleum along with nearby archeological sites containing monuments from the Byzantine and the Phoenician ages, were recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Although these archeological remains are protected, the ruins face constant threats from urban construction and expansion, open sewage drainage run offs, poor maintenance, and constant vandalism. Due to these ongoing problems, these archaeological remains face an uncertain future.


Pillaging at the Mausoleum

The mausoleum was pillaged in ancient times. For instance, the base of the structure was once adorned with 60 Ionic columns. Today, the capitals are no longer there, presumably stolen in the past. Additionally, it has been speculated that the burial chambers have also been looted by treasure hunters. On top of that, attempts have even been made in the past to have the monument destroyed completely. For example, in 1555, an order was issued by Salah Rais, the Pasha of Algiers, to have the monument demolished. The mausoleum was saved when wasps swarmed out of it, stinging some of the workmen to death and resulting in the abandonment of the undertaking. In 1866, the mausoleum was explored by order of the French Emperor, Napoleon III. After this, the monument was protected and preserved. Incidentally, when the French first occupied Algeria, the French Navy used the site for target practice.

Tomb of the Christian, Algeria ’ (1856) photograph by John Beasly Greene. ( Public Domain )

In 1982, the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of a group called Tipasa. Sadly, in spite of this recognition, the mausoleum is still under threat today, mainly due to a lack of maintenance, vandalism, and the alarming rate of urban expansion in the vicinity.

A lack of maintenance, vandalism, and the alarming rate of urban expansion are all threats to the mausoleum. ( CC BY SA 4.0 )

Top Image: Tombeau de la chretienne, Tipasa. (tomb of the Christian Woman – an alternate name of the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania). Source: Bachir/ CC BY NC SA 2.0


Kingdom of Mauretania

The Kingdom of Mauretania came into existence around 225 BC, in the third century. Its inhabitants come from Berber ancestry, based on modern day ethnic taxonomies, and currently it belongs to the Western part of present day Algeria.

Mauretania was a kingdom of the Berber Mauri people, who would become renowned in history. It was the Phoenicians who named the area as Mauharim, which means “Western Land.” This would later become known as Mauretania. The Mauretanian kingdom is generally considered to have developed more slowly than the kingdom of Numidia.

The mountain massif of the Atlas protected Mauretania from the Phoenician thalassocracy, then later Carthage as well as initial Roman attempts at conquest. The people of Mauretania had cities as well as rural life in fertile regions such as the Moulouya Valley and also along the Atlantic coast. However, it was in the mountainous regions that tribes kept their identity into Roman times and even beyond.

The Mauri were referred to as early as an expedition to Sicily of 406 BC.

Before the Kingdom of Mauretania

Before the Kingdom of Mauretania came into existence, the area was occupied by the Berber people. By looking at some of the architecture, historians have discovered something about the Tichitt tradition. This tradition is based on the remains of 400 or so settlements that were found near Tichitt, and have been dated back to between 2,000 BCE and 200 BCE. The area was based on the cultivation of millet, however, with the environment becoming increasingly arid, this was later abandoned.

The Tichitt tradition is defined by dry stonewall remains which are found even as far as Guilemsi. The remains recently found at Guilemsi contain many monuments that seemed to be for funeral purposes, and are very similar to those found near Tichitt. There are also many paintings of different animals painted on the rocks, showing that the area had animal husbandry even before the Kingdom of Mauretania came into existence.

Formation of Mauretania

During the second Punic war, the war between Eastern and Western Numidia was decided by the decision of King Masinissa to ally himself with Rome. Upon his return to Africa after forming this alliance, it was King Baga of Mauretania that provided a bodyguard for King Masinissa. Thus, the war was decided, and King Baga’s decision to aid Rome was a vital moment in history. He was the first known King of Mauretania.

Kings of Mauretania

The next known King of Mauretania was King Bocchus I. He became came King in 110 BC. The kings in between are not recorded in history. He was the father-in-law of Jugurtha, whom he aided in a war against the Romans. They were victorious in their battles, but Bocchus saw that Jugurtha could not win a prolonged war against the Romans and conspired with the Romans in delivering Jugurtha to them. Thus, he made overtures to the Romans in the hopes of an alliance. Jugurtha fell into this trap, and was delivered to the Romans. He would rule until 80 BC.

The next King was King Mastanesosus, who was followed by his son Bocchus II.

Coins in King Bocchus II’s name

King Bocchus II’s reign began in 49 BC. At the start of his reign, Mauretania was jointly ruled between Bocchus and his younger brother Bogud. Bocchus II ruled the east of the Mulucha River and his brother ruled the west part of the Mulucha River.

Their title was recognized by King Julius Caesar himself. They would invade Numidia and conquer Cirta, which was the capital of Juba. At the end of the war, Caesar would give Bocchus part of the territory of Masinissa II. Boccus and Bogud would fight further wars on the side of Caesar.

It was after Caesar’s death that trouble would brew between the brothers. Bogud supported Mark Antony, while Bocchus would stand by by Octavian. Around 38 BC, King Bocchus seized Bogud’s territory while he was campaigning in Spain. Bocchus thus became the sole ruler of Mauretania, and was recognized by Octavian. Bogud would die in Anthony’s campaigns, thus ending all opposition to his rule. It was on Bocchus’s death in 33 BC that he would will Mauretania to the Romans, thus making Mauretania a client state of Rome.

Bocchus’s death left an entire Kingdom without a ruler. Despite the will, the emperor Augustus was unwilling to take direct control, perhaps fearing that the mountain tribes would pose formidable problems for the Romans, and decided instead to opt for a local ruler. Augustus instead installed as king Juba who was the son of the last Numidian king. Juba has spend his childhood in the Roman Empire and he would go on to rule for 40 years as a completely loyal client king.

What Juba did to some degree in Mauretania has many parallels to what Masinissa had done in Numidia. Juba was a peaceful man who was fully Hellenized and was a prolific Greek Author. His capital was renamed Caesarea, in honour of the great Roman King, and he started urbanizing the region. He was succeeded by his son Ptolemaus.

Royal Mausoleum of King Juba II, Algeria (formerly Kingdom of Mauretania). Painting by Jean Claude Golvin

Ptolemaus ruled till 40 AD, when he was summoned to Rome by the emperor Gaius and executed. The reason for this execution is unknown. This action, which occurred before the provincialization of the area, sparked off a revolt which was suppressed after several years, but with heavy losses. At this point self-rule and the Mauretanian kingdom came to an end.

Atlas, King of Mauretania

King Atlas was a legendary king of Mauretania before 500 BCE. He was credited with the invention of the celestial globe.

Trade and achievements

The Mediterranean coast of Mauretania had harbours that were used commercially for trade with Carthage from before around 400 BC. The interior was controlled by Berber tribes who carried out large amounts of trade with Carthage, and in the future with the Romans.

The Mauretanian kings as a whole carried out large scale urbanization in the region, which was inspired by the development of the Roman Empire. King Juba in particular is credited for urbanizing a lot of the region and modernizing the agricultural techniques of the region, possibly due to the period of peace that followed the end of the First, Second and Third Punic Wars allowing Mauretania to focus on pursuing trade and prosperity. The Mauretanians also had the advantage of receiving some tax exemptions from Rome during periods when Mauretania backed Rome over Carthage, and Rome over Numidia.

Under the Romans, port facilities were developed and extensive trade was carried out, taking the influence of the area to a level not seen since the Punic era. Most of these were exports to Italy, as a client state of the Roman Empire, however, this gave the Mauretanian kingdom a degree of economic independence that not many client states enjoyed.

The Mauretanian kingdom also had well trained and well-disciplined armies and a people that were more than willing to fight for their Empire, to the extent that despite having the Empire willed to him, Augustus, the leader of the Roman Empire, did not dare assumed direct rulership of the Kingdom. Mauretanian soldiers may be among the Roman soldiers that were in later times found on the Antonine Wall.

The Mauretanian kingdom shaped history and was responsible for a lot of success of Rome in Africa. It was an example of a region in Africa gaining independence and showing strength that even the Roman Empire knew was not to be trifled with.


The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania

The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania is actually a tomb situated on the road between the cities of Cherchell and Algiers, in Algeria. This is the final resting place of Berber Juba II and Cleopatra Selene II. Who were the last king and queen of Mauretania. Cleopatra Selene II was the only daughter of the well-known Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and her husband Mark Antony.

The Royal Mausoleum was built in 3 BC by King Juba II himself intended not just for him and his wife. But as a dynastic funeral monument for their royal descendants. The tomb is famous by numerous names. It is occasionally referred to as the Mausoleum of Juba and Cleopatra Selene.

In Arabic, the mausoleum is called the Kubr-er-Rumia or Kbor er Roumia. While in French it is call Tombeau de la Chretienne or “the tomb of the Christian woman”. Because there is a cross-like shape of the division lines on the false door. The Royal Mausoleum was constructed according to ancient mausoleums found in Numidia. And their architectural design created from mausoleums originates in Egypt and Anatolia.

Although the circular mausoleum is constructed from stone and stands on a square base with a pyramid or cone comparable structure at the top. The measurement of tomb is between 60 to 61 meters in diameter but originally believed to be 40 meters tall. Because with the passage of time and natural elements have decreased its height to about 30 meters.

This monument has been the victim of pillage very early on. The base of the monument was once ornamented with 60 Ionic columns whose capitals were stolen. Therefor in the center of the tomb there’re two vaulted chambers “whose contents were perhaps also ransacked by treasure seekers”.

That can be reached by a spiral passage approximately seven feet in height and 489 feet in length. The burial chambers are detached by a short passage, and are cut off from the gallery by stone doors prepared by a single slab which can be moved up and down by levers.

Though early rulers tried several time to destroy the monument. But in 1555, the Pasha of Algiers furnished orders to pull down the Royal Mausoleum. But the attempt was reckless when big black wasps swarmed out and stung some of the workers to death. At the end of the 18th century, the attempt of Baba Mahommed got in vain to destroy the monument with artillery.

However later on the French occupied Algeria the monument was well used by the French Navy for target practice. Lastly, in 1866 it was explored by order of the Emperor Napoleon III, after which the site was ordered to be protected and preserved.

In 1982, the Royal Mausoleum along with nearby archaeological sites containing monuments from the Byzantine and the Phoenician ages were recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Though these archaeological sites remains are protected. However the ruins face continuous threats from urban construction and expansion. So open sewage drainage run offs, meager maintenance, and continuous vandalism. Due to these constant problems, these archaeological remains face an indeterminate future.


5 The Royal Mausoleum Of Mauretania3 BC

Located near the famed city of Algiers in Algeria, the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania was built for two of the last rulers of the ancient kingdom of Mauretania, Juba II and Cleopatra Selene II. (Their son Ptolemy was the last ruler.) It is no coincidence the mausoleum bears a striking resemblance to one built by the Roman Emperor Augustus, for Juba II wished to create a sign of his allegiance to Rome.

Known by several different names, including &ldquothe tomb of the Christian woman&rdquo thanks to a cross-like shape on a false door, the mausoleum has suffered a great deal of misfortune throughout the centuries. Vandals and thieves destroyed or stole much of the ornate decorations once littering the grounds, and various rulers have tried to destroy it. It wasn&rsquot until Emperor Napoleon III declared it a site to be protected in 1866 that the mausoleum was finally safe. However, since it was declared a World Heritage site in 1982, several factors, including poor maintenance and endless vandalism, have put this marvel of early architecture at risk of being destroyed.


Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania | 1st century B.C | TIPAZA [UNESCO Heritage]

Some says that the crosses were carved on the "fake" doors after the initial construction of the mausoleum.

Could be, of course. But then again why? The cross was a torture and killing device.. Makes no sense in a mausoleum. And as far as we know it neither of the two where not crucified.

I don't know any mausoleum or similar that dates pre-christian era, and would have later cross carvings.

The fact that there is a cross is very overwhelming. Surely there is an explanation. Probably an easy one.

According to Wikipedia, Cleopatra had great plans, sometimes referred to as "new era". She was to conquer all Rome and and sat on thrown as queen of new empire - in Rome in Capitolium caesar palace.

But how does this has to do with christianity, I dunno.

Maybe Shakespeare knows? heh

El-Harrachi

A Curious Man :-)

Il ne s'agit pas de crucifix chrétiens là, pas plus que les croix-gammées qu'on trouve sur certains motifs vandals ne sont une référence au nazisme. A l'évidence, ce sont de fausses portes déssinées comme telles, et même de nos jours on dessine shématioquement le cadre d'une fenêtre sous la forme d'un échiquier de quatre vitres séparées par deux lignes qui se croisent.

D'ailleurs, au cours des quatre premiers siècles du Christianisme (et la datation la plus basse de ce mosaulée est du 1er s.), le crucifix ne faisait pas partie du répértoire symbolique des chrétiens. Pour marquer leur appartennace les fidèles inscrivaient un chrisme, un poisson ou d'autres symboles convenus mais pas des crucifix. Ceux-ci ne deviennent d'usage courant à l'époque romano-byzantine, c'est-à-dire à partir du 5e / 6e s.

Zenfi

Registered

Yes yes but can we be sure? Just out of knowing some dates? Like 6 AD and 23 AD?

Yes the early christians were much more aware of the nature of christianity's astro-theological nature, aspect and symbolic reference, than modern scholars had believed, for example because of findings (carvings, art) form early catacombs and such. The sun and the moon where much earlier symbols in christianity than a man on a cross.

And it took until around 1000 AD when in art Jesus were started to portray eyes closed (on cross), around that time he also lost that support column under his feet.

Also in art, many if not most artist throughout the 2 millenias has portrayed the disciple John as a female. And in fact John in Aramaic is YOHANNA.. Strikes imagine.. Mary-Yohanna anyone? Well that's what the artists, Including DaVinci, has hidden is his/they're works.

What makes it all so interesting and the connection to Selene II tomb having a cross, is that Jesus hang arounders included Joseph of Arimathea, the wealthy merchant with a fleet of ships all around Mediterranean and Red sea - did also business with Cleopatra as he for example imported ingredients from India to Cleopatra's parfume factory next to Nile.

This very same man, yet he appears in biblical stories as well, but there is a hassle with years..

Anyhow, Joseph of Arimathea was part of Sanhedrim and also pals with Pilate. It was also Arimathea's property, acres, mansion, where Lazarus was brought to life, and the acres also were a place, a base, for actions and plans of Jesus in Jerusalem. It was Arimatheas garden where the arrest happened, and it was also Arimatheas property where the crucifixion happened and only a handful of people were present, the small amount of public that were present were far away, yet close enough to see the crucifixion.

Dieing crusified takes few days, yet the son of god was so weak that he dies and was taken off just after 6 hours.

Close enough to see crucifixion, but close enough to see what actually happened? The Quoran which also tells about the passage of our heavenly messenger, portrays a bit different story, that it was Judas/a look a like/ on the cross, not our beloved messenger.

Why would a loving harmonic god want a blood sacrifice? Lol makes no sense.

If one reads bible carefully, one might spot that Jesus was born into a family where also other siblings where born, and that Jesus even had some half twin brother and other siblings.

I'm gonna get back to the sun and moon symbolism and cross symbolism.

Btw, the youngest (that we know of) a little brother of Selene II, Ptolemy Philadelphus, could be the son of Cleo and Herodes. Did Cleo seek refuge from Herodes? Did she sent her oldest son to India through way of Ethiopia? Who knows? Palestine at that time was a crowded place of many different ethnic backrounds, a place where a person on the run could smoothly blend in.

El-Harrachi

A Curious Man :-)

Trop spéculatif que tout cela. Restons en aux faits, c'est plus sain et plus pratique je trouve.

En somme, il s'agit d'un monument funéraire cité par une source avérée dès le 1er siècle avant J.-C. On est dnc certains que l'édifice ne fut pas bâti par des chrétiens, et encore moins pour des usages chrétiens.

Secundo, si le Christianisme faite son apparition en Afrique (= Maghreb) dès la fin du 2e siècle après J.-C., il n'existera de monuments proprement chrétiens qu'à partir de la fin du 3e siècle ou le début du 4e s. Avant cela, il n'avaient ni les moyens ni la liberté de se faire construire de simples lieux de cultes, alors de là à édifier des mausolées de cette taille !

Enfin, une fois qu'aparraisse un art proprement chrétien (à la même époque tardive qu'est apparue une "architecture" chrétienne) le crucifix ne deviendra que trés tardivement symbole courant et commun, et à plus forte raison lorsque nous parlons de repreésentations monumentales et non d'un simple grafitti sur une pierre

Conclusion: ledit "Mausolée Royal Maurétanien" n'a rien d'un édifice chrétien et il ne peut en aucun cas être lié au Christianisme africain, ce qui est d'autant plus confirmé qu'aucune source chrétienne (et elles sont nombreuses) ne le citent de quelque façon que ce soit comem lieu de culte ou de commémoration. C'est une construction plus ancienen que le christianisme en Afrique, et elle est purement païenne.

Riq-10

Abdeka

Moderator

Abdeka

Moderator

Abdeka

Moderator

Le zéraldien

Registered

FOXBAT

Interceptor

Abdessalam

Registered

Numide

Registered

Zach89

Registered

YorkTown

SSC Algeria

Coupe d'après forage par les archéologues


Le Mausolée Royal de Maurétanie, surnommé à tort Tombeau de la Chrétienne, en arabe Kbour-er-Roumia, est un monument de l'époque numide, situé en Algérie à une soixantaine de kilomètres à l'ouest d'Alger.

Description
L'édifice, un tumulus de pierre d'environ 80 000 m³, ressemble de loin à une énorme meule de foin. Il mesure 60,9 m de diamètre et 32,4 m de hauteur. Érigé non loin de Tipaza (près du village de Sidi Rached), sur une crête des collines du Sahel, il domine la plaine de la Mitidja à 261 m d'altitude.
Il comporte une partie cylindrique ornée sur son périmètre, dont le développement est de 185,5 m, de 60 colonnes engagées surmontées de chapiteaux ioniques et supportant une corniche. Cette partie présente quatre fausses portes situées aux points cardinaux. Ce sont des panneaux de pierre de 6,9 m de haut, encadrés dans un chambranle et partagés au centre par des moulures disposées en croix. C'est cet ornement qui a justifié le nom traditionnel de Tombeau de la Chrétienne.
Au-dessus, la partie conique est constituée de 33 assises de pierres, hautes de 58 cm, et se termine par une plate-forme. Elle est largement échancrée au-dessus de la fausse porte de l'Est[1].

L'entrée véritable du monument, longtemps ignorée, se situe dans le soubassement, sous la fausse porte de l'Est. Elle a été découverte lors de la campagne de fouilles menée en 1865 par Adrien Berbrügger, inspecteur des Monuments historiques, à la demande de Napoléon III. C'est une porte basse, 1,1 m de haut, et étroite, qui donnait sur une dalle coulissante en grès, trouvée brisée. Ensuite un couloir d'accès très bas conduit au vestibule des lions. Il est ainsi appelé parce qu'on y voit un lion et une lionne sculptés en relief au-dessus de l'accès au couloir intérieur. Ce vestibule voûté mesure 5,33 m de long, 2,52 m de large et 3,20 m de haut.
Cette entrée est aujourd'hui condamnée et est inaccessible aux visiteurs.
De ce vestibule on accède en gravissant 7 marches à la galerie circulaire. Celle-ci suit un tracé circulaire horizontal formant un cercle presque complet, qui partant de la fausse porte Est passe successivement derrière les fausses portes du Nord, de l'ouest et du Sud, avant de tourner vers le centre du monument.
Au bout de la galerie, une porte munie d'une herse, brisée elle-aussi, ouvre sur un vestibule de 4,04 m de long, 1,58 m de large et 2,73 de haut. De ce vestibule, un couloir surbaissé mène à la chambre centrale située au cur du monument. Fermée par une porte à herse coulissante, trouvée aussi brisée, ce caveau voûté mesure 4,04 de long, 3,06 de large et 3,43 de haut. Orienté nord-sud, avec l'entrée à l'est, il comporte 3 niches sur chacune des parois nord, sud et ouest.
Le monument est entièrement vide de tout mobilier. Aucune chambre secrète n'a été trouvée, malgré de nombreuses recherches.
La date de construction et la fonction réelle de ce monument ne sont pas connues avec certitude. Sur la date, on sait qu'il est mentionné dans un texte du géographe Pomponius Mela, daté des années 40 après Jésus-Christ, époque où le royaume de Maurétanie fut annexé par Rome. Certains historiens pensent qu'il s'agit d'un mausolée royal construit par le roi Juba II qui régna de 25 av. J.-C. à 23 ap. J.-C. et son épouse, la reine Cléopâtre Séléné. Pour d'autres, l'étude architecturale du monument permettrait de le dater approximativement aux Iers, IIèmes siècles av. JC et donc d'avant la domination romaine sur l'Afrique du Nord. Stéphane Gsell a bien dit à son sujet:" C'est une construction de type indigène couverte d'une chemise grecque".

Historique du nom donné à ce tombeau
Juba II fut un des hommes les plus savants de son temps: Pline et Plutarque le citent souvent dans leurs ouvrages à titre de référence incontestable, notamment dans les domaines de l'histoire, de la géographie, de la grammaire, de l'éducation, de la philosophie, de l'archéologie, de l'histoire naturelle, de la botanique, de l'art lyrique, de la peinture, etc.
Quant à son impériale épouse, si ses actes n'ont pas pris place dans les bibliothèques sous forme de livres, c'est qu'elle se dévouait sans compter pour le bien-être de son peuple dont elle était aimée, voire vénérée. C'est cette vénération qui s'est traduite, après la mort de Séléné, par un mausolée dénommé par les populations locales : Tombeau de la Romaine.
Malheureusement, le colonisation française a confondu en une seule et même signification Roumi qui veut dire Romain, ou Roumia, qui veut dire Romaine, avec Chrétien ou Chrétienne.
Une telle assimilation et un tel amalgame ne peuvent être que faux puisque, à cette époque, c'est-à-dire au début du Ier siècle de l'ère chrétienne, le christianisme n' avait pas encore dépassé les limites de la Palestine. Il n'atteindra ce pays berbère que plus tard. pour y être adopté et même pratiqué par ses indigènes.
Un monument analogue se trouve dans l'Est algérien, c'est le Medracen situé près de Batna. Il en diffère cependant par la taille, seulement 18,5 m de haut, la structure interne, et est certainement plus ancien.

Notes et références
↑ « Le pacha Salah Raïs, en 1555, a tenté de démolir le K'bour pour en enlever le trésor. Il l'a même fait battre au canon, sans autre résultat qu'abimer la fausse porte de l'Est » (Mounir Bouchenaki, Le Mausolée Royal de Maurétanie, traduction en arabe de Abdelhamid Hadjiat, Ministère de l'information et de la culture, Direction des musées, de l'archéologie et des monuments et sites historiques, Alger, 1979, p. 13


The Most Beautiful Buildings And Architecture in Algeria

The North African country of Algeria is a melting pot of influences, from French to Spanish to Berber and Roman. This blending of cultures has given way to a fantastic architectural scene, much of which still exists today. Algeria is a wildly underrated tourist destination due to recent political unrest and its proximity to war-torn Libya. To dismiss a visit to Algeria though would be a mistake. There is much beauty to be seen in this lovely country starting with the architecture.

Roman Baths, Khenchela

We begin our exploration of Algerian architecture with the well-preserved Roman Baths of Khenchela, known also as Hassam Essalihine. In a remarkable state of preservation, this is an architectural beauty and quite the hidden find. Don’t expect to observe these baths in peace because as you’re looking in awe at the half-ruined walls and the tall columns, the chances are there’ll be a bunch of locals taking a bath in front of you. Originally constructed in the first century AD, the brickwork is an Ottoman addition and the changing room doors are likely not originals either. Chat in rusty French or Arabic with the locals and either soak up the history or take a soak in the gorgeous circular bath

The M’Zab Valley

The M’Zab Valley is situated in the Ghardaïa Province of Algeria in the Sahara desert and is made up of five Mozabite towns: Ghardaïa, Melika, Beni Isguen, Bounoura and El Atteuf, the former of which is home to a stunning labyrinthine casbah which is well worthy of a visit. The unusual architectural beauty of this strange cluster of dwellings and towns is what makes this UNESCO World Heritage Site so special. Buildings are densely packed, replete with twisting and turning narrow alleyways, covered walkways and pastel colored paint. The visual impact is truly impressive, situated as they are in a deep and narrow valley. Having been established by a breakaway Islamid sect some 1000 years ago, they were designed for communal living, an intention which is clear to see to this day.

Maqam Echahid

This striking architectural design piece is less of a building and more of a monument however it is just as impressive. Opened to the public in 1982, the same year the M’Zab Valley was celebrating its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and just 20 years after getting independence, this spectacular feat pays tribute to the lives lost in the Algerian War. Commonly known in English as The Martyrs’ Monument, it consists of three giant, concrete palm shaped leaves reaching skyward and coming together to create the architectural achievement it is today.

Notre Dame d’Afrique

Taking a step away from Roman and Muslim architecture, we focus our attention on the remarkable Catholic Basilica of Notre Dame d’Afrique in Algiers. Inaugurated in 1872, it’s significantly newer than some of the entries on this list but no less worthy of a spot. Featuring an unusual floor plan, with the choir on the southeast rather than the east side of the building, it was designed by French Algeria’s chief architect for ecclesiastical buildings, Jean Eugène Fromageau. Despite having undergone several reconstructions throughout the years, its essential essence remains, along with its famous colonial inscription: ‘Notre Dame d’Afrique priez pour nous et pour les Musulmans.’ (‘Our Lady of Africa, pray for us and for the Muslims.’)
Notre Dame d’Afrique, Rue de Zighara, Algiers, Algeria, North Africa


Mausolée royal de Maurétanie

Mausolée royal de Maurétanie: tomb of a king of ancient Mauretania, probably Juba II (r.25 BCE - 23 CE).

Situated along the road from Iol Caesarea to the east, to Algiers, the Mausolée royal de Maurétanie is built on a ridge of hills along the Mediterranean shore, from where it dominates the region. It has a diameter of 61 meters, is 32½ high, and rises more than 250 meters above the sea.

This mausoleum is clearly inspired by the one at Madghacen. For example, both circular funerary monuments are essentially very large bazinas and surrounded by a wall with sixty columns of the Doric building order. Like all bazinas, the chamber is in the center. It is accessible through a narrow corridor from the south the four doors that are visible on the outside are false doors.

The Roman writer Pomponius Mela refers to the mausoleum as the communal tomb of the royal family. note [Pomponius Mela, Chorographia 1.26.] Because it is near the royal residence of king Juba II (r.25 BCE - 23 CE), he is often credited with its construction.

The tomb is also known as "Tombeau de la chrétienne". This may be due to a translation error. The Arabs call this monument Qabr al-Rûmiyya, the "tomb of the Rum". This last word may have been meant to refer to the Romans or Byzantines, but could also mean Christians, which may have been the meaning picked up by the French colonizers.


Watch the video: Celebrities Graves (January 2022).