A Kasbah is a type of medina or fortress. Kasbah market, Tunis, Tunisia. Kasbah Square with the Kasbah Mosque in Tunis. Built in 1231-35, during the early Hafsid dynasty, by Abu Zakariyya Yahya (ruled 1229?49), the mosque sits on the edge of the medina, where the narrow streets were often crowded with people from the many different tribes of North Africa and the Sahara. Tunis is the capital and the largest city of Tunisia. In ancient times, Tunisia was primarily inhabited by Berbers. Phoenician immigration began in the 12th century BC; these immigrants founded Carthage. A major mercantile power and a military rival of the Roman Republic, Carthage was defeated by the Romans in 146 BC. The Romans, who would occupy Tunisia for most of the next 800 years, introduced Christianity and left architectural legacies like the El Djem amphitheater. The Muslims conquered the whole of Tunisia by 697, followed by the Ottoman Empire between 1534 and 1574. The Ottomans held sway for over 300 years. The French colonization of Tunisia occurred in 1881. Tunisia gained independence with Habib Bourguiba and declared the Tunisian Republic in 1957. Detroit Publishing Company, 1899.