City of Ghardaia with its market and its characteristic mosque on top of the city. This picture was taken in April 1970.
The M’zab Valley is an oasis in the Sahara desert. Located about 500 kilometers south of Algiers in the Ghardaia province of Algeria, the 10-kilometer-long valley contains approximately 3,000 wells that supply 270,000 green date palms with water.
The M’zab Valley has been inhabited since 1012, when M’zabite Berbers, a fiercely independent group of Ibadiyy Muslims, moved to the region in an attempt to escape robbers and persecutors. The M’zabites settled in the valley because it could be easily defended.
Over the next 36 years, they built five walled villages (ksars) on rocky outcrops along the valley: Beni Isguen, Melika, Bou Noura, El Ateuf, and Ghardaia, the principal city today. The architecture of these towns is characterized by simple structures, curving walls and a lack of ornamentation.
The M’zabites were, and still are, a puritan sect. They dressed in simple garments, limited their use of color, and lived with little furniture. They designed their buildings for egalitarian communal living, with respect for family privacy.
to know more read the complete Article by Toni Dabbs
Critiques | Translate
batalay (36439) 2006-10-25 20:02
This is a superb photo of the hinterland of Ghardaia. There is something so timeless about such photos, showing urban areas that just grow the way cells divide. Very good explanation as well. Greetings from Virginia, Bulent
SteveH (6247) 2006-10-25 21:52
Hi Henry, thanks for posting this. I want to go there NOW. Hope it hasn't changed much. Cheers, Steve
vagabondtravels (6507) 2006-10-25 22:11
Wow what a great shot of Ghardaia. Nice documentary shot! 1970 wow how things must have changed. Well done.
Sorry :) dry
abulafia (4900) 2006-10-27 8:14
Thank you Henry!
It is very likely that this is the town i visited 14 years ago.
Yours is actually very good, lovely colours and very rich in details.
Thank you for helping me out.
alentejo (1954) 2006-12-08 19:01
Salut Henry !
Et bien 1970, cela fait un bail ! Il faudrait avoir une vue de maintenant ou retourner là-bas...les couleurs pastels des maisons sont très belles (à supposer que les teintes n'aient pas été altérées). Belle architecture traditionelle en tout cas avec ce minaret dominant le sommet de la colinne.
Bravo ! TE est parfois une machine à remonter le temps :-)))
nbj (2095) 2006-12-11 3:43
there are lots of good, interesting pictures in your quite variated gallery, but this is one of the pictures i fell for in particular. the view of the town is great, and it looks like a very beautiful place. algeria is one of the places i want to go to, and seeing your picture makes me want it even more.