By Mohammed Bokreta
Islamic Tourism: It is true to say that this historic masterpiece is one of the most interesting archaeological sites. It is believed that this large construction dates back to 100 BC. It is in surprisingly good condition, especially when compared to the younger Roman ruins in other parts of Algeria.
Only six kilometres away from Tipasa on a hilltop, 260m above sea level, overlooking the region, stands this impressive Mausoleum of the Royal Family of Mauritania. It is 32 meters high, 61 meters diameter and contains 80'000 cubic meter of stone blocks.
There are 60 columns running around the cylindrical structure. It has been constructed with four fake doors into the interior, while the real door was not discovered until 185, when it was discovered that it leads into a chamber, that proved to be empty.
It was built for King Juba II and his wife Cleopatra Selena, daughter of the famous Cleopatra of Egypt. Juba II who reigned from 25 BC to 23 AD over Mauritania which had its capital in Iol (presently Cherchell). Juba II was of Berber origin and the Kingdom of Mauritania covered what is now Morocco and Algeria.
The genuine monument's entrance, ignored for such a long time is situated in the bedrock or the basement of the wrong eastern door. It was discovered through the excavation campaign in 1865 led by Adrien Berbrugger, the historic monument's inspector who worked on the instructions of Napoléon III.
A similar 18.5 meter monument is to be found in eastern Algeria. It is called "the Medracen" near the city of Batna