Here are the five ksours (fortified hill towns) dating from the 11th century in Mzab Valley, Algeria.
Founded in 1048, Ghardaïa is the chief town in the Mzab Valley. It comprises white, pink, and red clay houses built around a cave reputedly inhabited by Saintess Daïa after whom the town takes its name. The original medieval architecture of the village is largely preserved over the centuries.
El Atteuf comprises clay buildings clustered around a central mosque which is the typical structure for the hilltowns of the valley. The mosque’s minaret also serves as a watchtower as the minarets do in the other four towns. The town has managed to preserve its traditional architecture due to its norms based on purism and strictness.
Founded in 1124, Melika is the only one among the five cities that has not experienced any expansion. The town features the typical urban structure of the Mzab Valley, consisting of clay houses clustering around a central mosque in the form of terraces. It also houses the tombs of a saint called Sidi Aïssa and his family.