Mausolée royal de Maurétanie


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

Mausolée royal de Maurétanie

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 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.

This page was created in 2020; last modified on 13 August 2020.