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Casbah

A kasbah Arabic قصبة , or in older English casbah, and qasbah or qassabah in India, is a type of medina, Islamic city, or fortress (citadel).

It was a place for the local leader to live and a defense when a city was under attack. A kasbah has high walls, usually without windows. Sometimes, they were built on hilltops so that they could be more easily defended. Some were placed near the entrance to harbors.

Having a kasbah built was a sign of wealth of some families in the city. When colonization started in 1830, in northern Algeria, there were a great number of kasbahs that lasted for more than 100 years.

The word kasbah may also be used to describe the old part of a city, in which case it has the same meaning as a medina quarter. The Spanish word alcazaba is a cognate naming the equivalent building in Andalusia or Moorish Spain. In Portuguese, it evolved into the word alcáçova. In Turkish and Urdu the word kasaba refers to a settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city; in short, a town.

In the al-Baha and Asir provinces of Saudi Arabia and in Yemen, the word "qasaba" usually refers to a single stone or rock tower, either as part of a tower house or a tower isolated on a hilltop or commanding a field.

In India, a qasbah is a small town distinguished by the presence of Muslim families of rank.

(Wikipedia)
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Alternative titles "La Casbah"
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