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Tlemcen(tlĕmsĕn`), city (1998 pop. 155,162), NW Algeria, capital of Tlemcen prov. Its location on a crossroads between the Mediterranean coast and the Sahara and between Algeria and Morocco has made it a commercial center since ancient times. Its prime importance was as a trade center during the Middle Ages. It flourished (13th–15th cent.) as the capital of a Muslim Berber dynasty, which ruled over much of what is now Algeria. Tlemcen has numerous splendid mosques and retains the atmosphere of medieval Muslim life. It still exports the carpets, woolens, and leather goods for which it has long been noted.
a city in northwestern Algeria, at the foot of the Tlemcen Mountains. Capital and industrial and transportation center of Tlemcen Wilayah. Population, 72,200 (1966). Tlemcen, a railroad and highway junction, has enterprises of the textile and food-processing industries; rugs are also woven there.
Tlemcen became known in the third century as the Roman city of Pomaria. In the seventh century it was seized by the Arabs. It was an important cultural and commercial center of central Maghrib from the 11th to 16th centuries. Tlemcen is surrounded by a pisé wall with seven gates dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. The city is known for its 12th-century Great Mosque, which has 13 aisles, an open-worked dome above the mihrab (1136), and a notable minaret (1236). Other monuments of architecture include the mosque of Sidi bel Hassan (now the Antiquities Museum, 1296–97), the mosque and tomb of Sidi Brahim (1358), a 12th-century public bath, and 14th-century cisterns.