Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al-Mansur
( ) (c. 1160 – January
23, 1199) (also known as Moulay Yacoub), was the third Almohad Amir
Succeeding his father, Abu Ya'qub
, Yakub al-Mansur reigned from 1184 to 1199 with
distinction. During his tenure, trade, architecture, philosophy and
the sciences flourished, to say nothing of military conquests.
Yaqub al-Mansur repelled the occupation of Paderne Castle and the surrounding territory near Albufeira, in
the Algarve which had been controlled by the Portuguese army of King Sancho I since 1182.
Alarcos, on July 18, 1195, he defeated the Castilian King Alfonso VIII.
he took the title al-Mansur Billah
("Made Victorious by
battle is recounted by the historian Abou Mohammed Salah ben Abd
el-Halim of Granada in his Roudh
el-Kartas (History of the Rulers of Morocco, French translation by
Beaumier, 1860) in 1326.
He died in
During his reign, he undertook several major projects. He built the Koutoubia
Mosque and the El Mansouria mosque in Marrakech and a kasbah, accessed by
Bab Agnaou and Bab
Ksiba in the southern part of its medina.
attempted to build what would have been the world's largest mosque
However, construction on the mosque
after al-Mansur died. Only the beginnings of the mosque had been
completed, including the Hassan Tower.
Al-Mansur protected the philosopher
and kept him as a favorite at
came to the throne after his father was killed in Portugal in 1184.
He promised revenge for his
father's death, but fighting with the Almohads, who were ousted
from the throne, delayed him in Africa. After defeating the
Almohads again, he sent out for Iberian Peninsula to avenge his father's death.
Iberia, defeating and capturing all major cities, Al-Mansur,
returned to Morocco with three thousand Christian captives, young
women and children.
Christians in Iberian
Peninsula heard of Al-Mansur's absence to Africa, revolted,
capturing many of the Moorish cities, including Silves, Vera, and Beja. When Al-Mansur heard this news, he
returned to the Iberian
Peninsula, and defeated the Christians again.
time, many were taken in chained groups of fifty each, and later
sold in Africa as slaves.
While Al-Mansur was away in Africa, the Christians mounted the
largest army of that time period of over 300,000 men to defeat Al-
Mansur. Immediately upon hearing this, Mansur
returned to Iberia and defeated Alfonso's army, killing 150,000,
taking money, valuables and other goods beyond
The town of Moulay Yacoub
, outside of
Fez, Morocco, is named after Al-Mansur, and is best known for its
therapeutic hot springs.