Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/156

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126
Geographical Notice of the Empire of Marocco.
 

tho privilege of occasionally re-appearing, lost his life and crown. We thoroughly examined, sketched, measured and noted down this bridge, which is in good preservation, and still crosses Wad el M'Hazen. In the valley through which runs this river, and on its banks, the palms Christi, and various other shrubs; fine corn land to-day; rich alluvial soil; wild artichokes, thistles, &tc.; a few patches of Guinea corn; hills to the west, forming sea-coast, wooded; several flocks of sheep; ten Arab villages; three coubbas, surrounded with wild olive and fig; some deserted gardens; several springs and wells[1].

Itinerary, 5th day, November 13.

Course S.S.E. 10 miles, fine open country; soil, light loam; greater cultivation; much more populous; herds of cattle, horses, mules, flocks of sheep; passed ten Arab villages; three coubbas, dazzling white, embosomed in wild olive and fig plantations, forming a pretty contrast. From a rising-ground, beautiful view of the town of

Al Ksar (Kibeer), situated in a fiat tract of rich, partially wooded meadow-land, through which meanders in a west-north-west direction, the river

L'Khos, a rapid but yellow stream; at this season of the year the channel about one hundred yards wide; the plain to the south-east bounded by beautiful mountain scenery. Conspicuous by its singular conical form is the peak of Sarsar, at the foot of which, said to be inhabited by Shereeffs, is the town of Wazen.

Al Ksar, situated on the northern bank of river, distant half a mile, surrounded by orchards and gardens of orange, pomegranate, and palm, in great luxuriance; was built by Jacob, son of the mighty Al Mansor (the victorious), about the end of the twelfth century, and connected in history with the wars of Granāda. The town is surrounded by old and ruinous walls of herring-bone brick-work and tapia, battlements loop-holes, and small square towers, fifty paces apart, about one mile and a half in circumference. Rode through the streets; counted fourteen mosques, many of which were lighted up and spacious; streets narrow, and at intervals arched across; houses remarkable for having ridged roofs of tile—the only town in Barbary.

Al Kaisseria, or Bazaar, contains a few mean shops; no business doing; sōcs (markets) and fondacs (inns) deserted and lifeless. Population about eight thousand, of which five hundred may be Jews; but doubtless it had been much more populous[2].

 

  1. It will be remarked that this Journal is simply geographical. During a journey of some hundred miles in this little known country, of course much other valuables information was gained, which it is hoped will soon be laid before the public.
  2. Jackson's estimate of the population in this country is, generally speaking, too exaggerated to require contradiction.