1200 years without overhaul
Of the ancient centuries, a lot of extraordinary creations came to this day. They are accepted in different groups for a more convenient classification. Although the same is the most familiar combination "Seven wonders of the world" No longer reflects the true number of architectural masterpieces remaining on Earth. True, there is another UNESCO World Heritage List – extensive, covering all regions of the world and still incomplete. On any continent, the traveler who devocated from the tourist trail can be sometimes unexpected for himself, amazing messages from the past. So happened with correspondents "Total". Once in North Africa, we had to move from Tunisia to Libya. On the way, we had to spill in the city of Kairean – one of the oldest cities in Maghreb. Looking ahead, I will say: we stayed in the city for three days, two of whom were completely devoted to acquaintance with a unique engineering structure, built 1200 years ago (!), but continuing and today. We are talking about the so-called pools of aglabides, repositories of the most valuable resource of the African continent – water. Many researchers tried to understand how these structures managed to continue for centuries, but the mystery remained unacretto.
Brutal Samum, having flown out from Sugara south Tunisia, confused our cards. In the evening we planned to get to the hotel near the Libyan border. Instead, were forced to urgently seek. "MacTub", – Sugging, from time to time, I won our driver, which can be translated as follows as: "Well, you can do, guys, fate, see, such". We did not persist – we were not ready to surrender to the power of Samum, because before Bedouins – the wanders of the desert – we are as far as they are up to us. And therefore, only slightly annoyed by an unexpected delay, we already sent an unfamiliar city in a quarter of an hour. Rellated on the plain city blocks closer in the late afternoon there were few. Occasionally, there were strict people on the streets, dressed in traditional Arabic outfits: a long, to the belch, a shirt – a galabay – or a cape of camel wool – Burnus, – concerning the floors of the earth, and on the head – the Turban or a thin fabric handkerchief – Shesh. There are no big houses as such. Facades of low buildings are lined with faience tiles decorated with a bright original ornament. Over the city, the guaranteed voices of Muzhinov, calling believers to prayer.
The city with a leisurely rhythm of life was Kairean – one of the most importantly revered by Muslims cities, inferior, if so to speak, in popularity only Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. Suffice it to say that the seven-time pilgrimage in Kairean is equal to one Hajj in Mecca.
We are religious shrines, I confess, interested in the inside, because, except in terms of general development. We respectfully walked the Barber Mosque, on the stone floor of which the pilgrims prayed prayed and where we were generously, like exotic alien, poured orange water. Then, by passing Avenue De La Republique, were in possession of the sellers of famous Kairuan carpets. The owner of one of the shops, Nimalo not stood up with the absence from our side of the buying interest, kindly offered to us to use the roof of his house, so that with the height admire the famous Sidian Mosque. She is glorious because it was from her Kairean. This is a huge structure, the foundation of which the blocks from the walls of the Ancient Roman cities are laid, uniquely their own colonnade. Columns around the perimeter of the courtyard so much that they say it is impossible to recalculate them, and who will risk it – will definitely be blind. We did not tempt fate, preferring a risky study to inspect the surroundings. And suddenly on a slight distance, less than in a kilometer, we saw the right round shape of the reservoirs. Rather, it was two impressive sizes "Eight", Completely unexpectedly looking at the background of a deserted landscape. "What is it?" – In one voice, we asked the owner of the carpet shop.
Noticing how we revived at the sight of a local attraction, we were hurried to introduce us to the local historian Khalifa Kusani. It turned out that this man, wrapped in a burly, besides, is the main keeper of such an interesting object that we hardly would pay attention to, being somewhere in Europe. But we are only a few kilometers separated from Sugara – merciless, the eternal kingdom of sands. And therefore, the phenomenon in front of us appeared truly amazing – not just a lake or a couple of half-minded wells, and the colossal tanks, almost to the edges filled with unshakable wealth – clean water.
– The appearance of this miracle, we are obliged to the royal dynasty of aglabides, – told Khalifa Kusani. – Giant pools were built in the era of their board – this is the IX century. And I can assure you that today our faucet today appear in about the same form as our distant ancestors. Natural forces were not domineled above them, and the change of local rulers. A small restoration was carried out only at the beginning of the 70s of the last century, after in 1969, an unprecedented incident happened in these areas – flood.
Who are such aglabides? This dynasty of Emirov, which came to power in Iphrikia (North Africa) in 800. It was this dynasty that was able to stop the long-term hostility of the Arab rulers and Berberov, after which it took not only the conquest of other people’s lands (Sicily, Algeria, Libya came under its influence), but also active, sometimes even refined construction. Under the leadership of aglabides, fortresses were built, forts – real defensive masterpieces, whole cities. And they are the first to think that the pools for water storage pools were first thought out. Building and at current time, it looks impressive, and so what to talk about the distant past: contemporaries seriously believed that the pools appeared on their arid earth not without the help of unclean power. By the way, then this circumstance to aglabids recalled.
Nevertheless, the reign of the dynasty of the Aglabid Historians is called the golden age of Iphrikia. And the Emirs themselves, according to the evidence of contemporaries, led "Refined life" In their luxury palaces, being in full confidence that in the old age grateful compatriots at least bring them a glass of water. However, everything happened otherwise. Figured accusation worked: if there is no water in the pool, aglabides drank her. Addiction to pomp and uniformity in everyday life played with the rulers. In 909, fanatical muhezzins set up the poorest segments of the population against rulers, the lifestyle of which allegedly contradicted the moral basis of the Quran. Svegoing Emirov, no one remembered that it was thanks to them almost half a million population of the city did not have lack of water. After all, aglabides managed not only to open inexhaustible sources, but also to send them into unique tanks, the forms and the dimensions of which were calculated with the striking accuracy. In merit, the emirs did not put this, because Muzzins assured: the presence of water did not depend on the aglabids, the place where the sources beat, and it was known, but cruel and voluptuous rulers were only in vain to kiss people during the construction of pools. Partly in this was its truth. In heavy construction work, people really died tens, but how many more lives were on it – historians are unknown.
However, the overthrow of the dynasty itself Kairean did not benefit. Existed even about a month and a half and at the same time constantly being attacked by numerous Bedouin tribes, in 1057 the city fell and was destroyed almost to the ground. Only two objects are preserved: Side Okba Mosque (about a third) and pools – they turned out to be practically intact. Is it possible to surprise this? Probably not. No matter how rulers have changed, whoever settled in Kairhan – water remained unchanged to this place. She, at least in antiquity, never disappeared from the reservoirs (this is unnecessary proof of engineering insulsion of aglabids). Historians about such cases is unknown. Only once the pools swore, and it was quite recent. Oddly enough, almost immediately after the only restoration. Caulifa Kusani still breaks his head, trying to understand what the connection between these events.
Creation of Baghdad masters
Connoisseur of Arab Town Planning Dr. Mustafa Sharif says: "Each civilization uses its life space arrangement method. During the Arab conquests of North Africa, large cities existing so far: Fez and Marrakech in Morocco, Oran in Algeria and, of course, Kairuan. All of them are typical for style "Muslim urbanism". In the center – a big mosque, having initially had a multipurpose: she was a temple, and a school room, and a meeting place for people, and the Parliament and the court. Over time, residential neighborings were built around it. But here are the presence of enormous water tanks – this is the exceptional feature of Kairuan".
We first inspect these ancient hydraulic structures from a height by climbing the stairs to the top floor of the doctor of Dr. Kusani, and then, in his escort, get acquainted with the creation of ancient artworks closer. Reservoirs are located pairno. Smaller adjacent to a major, connecting with him some kind of dam. This design allows you to adjust the water level in both pools. In addition, the water first enters a small reservoir, and already from there, purified, falls into the big.
The diameter of the large basin is 128 meters, and connecting with it – about a third less. The walls of the tanks are made of concrete, and it is believed that the concrete fill method was used here for the first time on the African continent, and its master engineers from Baghdad were used. According to historical data, it was they who managed construction work. Walls reservoirs are alternating edges: 117 – outside, 64 – from the inside. Their destination is evenly distributed water pressure throughout the basin area, the capacity of which is 52 thousand cubic meters.
The average depth of the pools is 4.7 meters. About once a year was carried out, and now it is done, their cleaning. To do this, the pool threw a gypsum, which, like an absorbent, perfectly cleaned the water.
Interestingly, the pools had not only utilitarian significance, but also used as a place for folk holidays. According to Kuzani Caulifa, in the center of the pool, if necessary, the platform was erected, to which the bridges were conducted, and various ideas were arranged on it.
Meanwhile, it is still not known exactly how much such pools was located in the vicinity of Kairuan. It reached this day only four, located in the city center. Historians believe that they were initially not less than fifteen and they were walking the city, but probably the rest either were destroyed by barbarians, or were listed by sand. Khalifa Kusani does not lose hope that archaeologists will be able to find a few more pools.
By the way, it was reliably established that aglabides were not limited to the construction of pools only in Kairhan. Similar buildings were found in the territory of Morocco, but they were not preserved there.
– To assemble a good harvest, and therefore people survive, the land should be supplied, and for the African North, this task is not from the lungs, "says our accompanying. – Just look at the map of the world – the local land is located north of Washington, Tokyo, and yet the climate here is straightely different from American or Japanese. And not least this concerns water resources. Most of the local land has always been influenced by the Sahara, and the only river, without drying all year round, – Manger – is far from full. Weda (bed) other robusts most of the year remain dry. The rains fall irregularly. And therefore the lack of water caused by a dry climate is the usual matter. Because of this, the development of desert and semi-desert lands always had very slowly. That’s why for agrarian needs, and for normal life it was necessary to maintain those water resources that were used, and still create their reserves, building artificial tanks. Aglabides made a big deal for future generations, and isn’t it a miracle that their creations are in excellent condition have been preserved to this day.