The Muslim West
Settlements and Domestic Life
Muslim towns: a labyrinth of streets.
In the Muslim West settlements were constructed either as fortified villages or towns, with both types of habitat sharing specific features derived from the clever adaptation of building materials and techniques to hot, dry environments.
The Town had a complex structure consisting of the town centre indicated by the great mosque, a citadel or governor's residence, a suq or market along the main street from which side streets would run, public baths (hammam), inns (funduq) and small workshops. The residential area was located within the town walls, while the suburbs lay outside the walls where farms were situated, where livestock markets were held and from where some craftsmen operated.
Fortified villages

Hegira 2nd/3rd–7th centuries / AD 8th/9th–13th centuries
Umayyad, early Taifa kingdoms, Almoravid, Almohad
Mértola region, Beja, Portugal
In the fortified villages, houses opened out onto areas shared by a population bound by strong family ties. The cultivated land was found beside the houses or interspersed amongst them.