Constantine [k ɔ SELLING tin], Arabic Ksentina, capital of the same name Wilajats in eastern Algeria, (2008) 520 000 residents.
The city is located on the southern edge of the Tell Atlas on a 649 m high limestone plateau, which slopes steeply on three sides to the gorge of the Oued Rhumel and is only accessible from the southwest. Constantine has a university (founded in 1969) and an Islamic college. The city is an industrial center with engine and tractor works, cement works, flour mills, machine tool construction, leather goods, cotton and wool production. Constantine is a rail hub and has an international airport.
The center is the old town (Kasba) with the Great Mosque (built in 1221 over Roman temples). Other sights include the Souk el-Ghezel mosque (1730; 1838–1962 Catholic cathedral); Salah Bey mosque and madrasah (1775/1776); Sidi Lakhdar mosque (1789) with octagonal minaret; Palais Ahmed Bey (1830–35) with beautiful arcaded patios. The new university (opened in 1974, built by O. Niemeyer) is located on the Boufrikahügel. Imposing bridges lead over the Rhumel Gorge, especially the Sidi M’Cid suspension bridge (1912, 175 m high). The National Museum of Cirta has an important archaeological department.
Constantine, Punic Kirtha, Roman Cirta, was an important city in Numidia and at times the residence of the kings. The conquest by Jugurtha in 112 BC And the execution of a large number of Italian merchants living there sparked the Jugurthin War. 46 BC The Caesarian Publius Sittius founded a colony that became a suburb of a confederation of cities. Becoming a bishopric in the 3rd century, the city was destroyed in 310 by the usurper Domitius Alexander. Constantine the Great rebuilt it ( Constantina). In the 7th century Constantine was conquered by the Arabs, in the 16th century by the Turks and in 1837 by the French.
Oran [ ɔ rã, French], Arabic Ouahran, Wahran, port and industrial city in northwestern Algeria, the Gulf of Oran, 80 m above sea level, with 759,600 residents, second largest city in the country.
Oran is the capital of the Vilayat of the same name, a military base (military port Mers el-Kebir) and a Catholic bishopric. The city has a university (founded in 1965), a technical university (founded in 1975), a conservatory; Theater, Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Cultural History.
The city is an important commercial and industrial center with new industrial zones south and west of the city; Hassi Rmel’s natural gas pipeline; Thermal power plant; Iron and steel works, metal processing, automotive, chemical, food, canning, textile, shoe, cement, glass industries. Oran, together with Arzew and Mostaganem, forms the western Algerian economic center. Wine, fruit, olives and wheat are grown in the area.
Oran is an important commercial and passenger port (ferry connections with Barcelona, Marseille, Sète), road and rail junction. The city is the starting point of the western Sahara route and has an international airport (6 km south). Oran is a tourist center with thermal baths (Dada Youb, Ain Franin) and beaches on the Mediterranean coast (eg Les Andalouses).
The old citadel (Kasba), the Pasha Mosque (1796) with octagonal minaret, the Sidi-el-Houari Mosque (1793–99) with Hispanic-Moorish minaret, the Saint-Louis church (1839) and the fortress Château Neuf (1563–1701) with Moorish gate, former Spanish governor’s seat, now occupied by the military. The neo-Byzantine Sacré Cœur cathedral (1913, library since 1984), the neo-classical theater and opera house (1906) and the Palais des Beaux-Arts (museum built in 1930, prehistoric, Roman, ethnographic) are located in the former European city built in the 19th century Collections, French painting from the 16th to the 20th century). To the west, on the hill Aidour, is the former Spanish Castillo de Santa Cruz. The rapidly growing eastern and southern suburbs have modern architecture.
Oran, founded in 903 by Spanish-Moorish merchants, flourished as one of the northern endpoints of Trans-Saharan trade and through the settlement of Spanish Muslims in the 13th and early 15th centuries, belonged to the Sultanate of Tlemcen from 1437 and was in Spanish possession from 1509–1792 (only 1708–32 under Ottoman rule). In 1791 Oran was badly destroyed by earthquakes, left to the Turks in 1792 and was the seat of an Ottoman Beis until the French conquest in 1831. 7. In 1940, during the Second World War, the Vichy government’s navy was suddenly attacked and sunk by a British naval force in the Mers el-Kebir naval base (“Operation Catapult”). In 1942, Oran was an important Allied landing site when the German Africa Corps was encircled.
Algiers [ al ʒ i ː r ], capital, commercial center and main port of Algeria, on the Mediterranean, with around 3 million residents in the urban conurbation.
The city has several universities, research institutes and museums. Algiers is an industrial and commercial center. The international airport is located southeast of the city.
The picturesque old town (»Kasba«) with citadel (16th century, today barracks) was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. From the 16th to 19th Mosques and Moorish palaces have been preserved in the 19th century.
Algiers was founded by the Arabs around 945. Under the Turks (since 1516), Algiers developed into the capital of the country. The French conquest (1830) gave the city its current importance.