at about a hundred kilometres from Marrakesh, on the road to asni, after passing through a narrow valley: what a surprise when suddenly we discover a scenery which reminds us of the Cathar country ! on a hilltop, a kasbah, then on a sloping ledge, a small 50- m wide mosque, amid the rocks. a real architectural gem, this almohade building is of great purity, and its architecture is typical of the era. There are other examples of that architecture: the koutoubia in Marrakesh but also in rabat with the Tour hassan and the giralda in sevilla. restored in 1997, it is highly rated in Moroccan history. in the11th century, ibn Toumert went on pilgrimage to Mecca. he came back convinced that the almoravides were too decadent and consequently should be overthrown. it is the beginning of a long conquest which ended for the Mahdi at the gate of Marrakesh, in the eagle’s nest of Tin Mal where he is buried. his successor, abdelmoumen ibn ali, gave the Mahdi a mausoleum in the village of Tin Mal and erected a mosque. The village then became a real cultural and spiritual centre of the empire. a royal palace was also built.