The Mechouar, a 12th Century citadel, is one of the town’s centrepieces. The Zianide ruler Yaghmorassen moved his residence here in the early 14th century and a mosque was built in the 1310s. The Ottoman admiral Barbarossa used it as his stronghold in the 16th century and the French followed suit, using it as a barracks and hospital. Today the Mechouar offers a place of peace inside its massive walls and across its broad esplanade. The entrance is on Ave Cdt Ferradj.