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Commune and city
|• President||A. Chibane (2007-2012)|
|• Total||2,288 km2 (883 sq mi)|
|• Density||330/km2 (850/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
Constantine (Arabic: قسنطينة, Qusanṭīnah, also spelled Qasentina, ALFB transliteration - Qʋsɑnөinɑë) is the capital of Constantine Province in north-eastern Algeria. Slightly inland, it is about 80 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast, on the banks of Rhumel river. Regarded as the capital of eastern Algeria and the centre of its region, Constantine has a population of over 750,000 (1,000,000 with the agglomeration), making it the third largest city in the country after Algiers and Oran. There are museums and important historical sites around the city.
The city was originally created by the Phoenicians, which they called the Sarim Batim (royal city). Later, this name was Cirta, which means, in Phoenician "city carved into the rock". The city was taken over by Numidia, the country of the Berber People after the defeat of the Phoenicians during the 3rd Punic war. In 112 BC the city was occupied by Jugurtha who defeated his half brother, Adherbal. The city later served as the base for Roman generals Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus and Gaius Marius in their war against Jugurtha. Later, with the removal of King Juba I and the remaining supporters of Pompey in Africa (c. 46), Julius Caesar gave special rights to the citizens of Cirta, now known as Colonia Sittlanorum.
In 311, during the civil war between emperor Maxentius and usurper Domitius Alexander (a former governor of Africa), the city was destroyed. Rebuilt in 313, it was subsequently named after emperor Constantine the Great, who had defeated Maxentius. Conquered by the Vandals in 432, Constantine returned to the Byzantine exarchate of North Africa from 534 to 697. It was conquered by the Arabs in the 7th century, receiving the name of Qusantina.
The city recovered and in 12th century was again a prosperous market, with connection to Pisa, Genoa and Venice. Since 1529 it was intermittently part of Ottoman Empire, ruled by a Turkish bey (governor) subordinate to the dey of Algiers. Salah Bey, who ruled the city in 1770–1792, greatly embellished it and built much of the Muslim architecture still visible today.
In 1826 the last Bey, Ahmed Bey ben Mohamed Chérif, became the new head of state. He led a fierce resistance against French forces, which invaded Algeria four years later. By 13 October 1837, the territory was reconquered by France, and from 1848 on until 1962 it was an integral part of the French motherland and centre of the Constantine Département.
Constantine is situated on a plateau at 640 metres (2,100 feet) above sea level. The city is framed by a deep ravine and has a dramatic appearance. The city is very picturesque with a number of bridges over Rhumel river and a viaduct crossing the ravine. The ravine is crossed by four bridges, including Pont Sidi M'Cid. Constantine is the railhead of a prosperous and diverse agricultural area. It also a centre of the grain trade and has flour mills, a tractor factory, and industries producing textiles, wool, linen, and leather goods. Algeria and Tunisia serve as its markets.
|Climate data for Constantine|
|Record high °F (°C)||78.8
|Average high °F (°C)||56.1
|Average low °F (°C)||38.3
|Record low °F (°C)||14.5
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.457
- Ben Badis (Islamic reformer and philosopher)
- Malek Bennabi (philosopher)
- Masinissa The first King of Numidia
- Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois, the daughter of Louis II, Prince of Monaco, and the mother of Prince Rainier III
- Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Nobel Prize winner in Physics
- Charles-Michel Marle, mathematician
- Hassiba Boulmerka, athlete, World and Olympic Champion; she is the first Algerian to win an Olympic title
- Ahlam Mosteghanemi (writer)
- Ahmed Bey (the last Bey of Constantine)
- Rabah Bitat (the third President of Algeria)
- Sidi Nemdil, Algerian Turk, Islamic and nationalist from Nemdil family
- Enrico Macias, (French singer)
- Cheb i Sabbah, (DJ, musician and composer)
- Jean-Michel Atlan (artist)
- Alphonse Halimi (World Champion boxer)
- Fatiha Bourbia (renowned architect)
- Rachid Khalef (renowned architect)
- Kateb Yacine (writer)
- Maurice Boitel, (artist)
- Samir Nasri (French football star who currently plays in England)
- Ali Saïdi-Sief (Olympic runner sub Champion in 2000 Summer Olympics for the 5000 m)
- Sandra Laoura, Olympic medallist
The city is framed by a deep ravine and has a dramatic appearance. The city is very picturesque with a number of bridges and a viaduct crossing the ravine.
- Gustave Mercier Museum (displays of ancient and modern art).
- Abd al Hamid Ben Badis Mosque.
- The Constantine Casbah.
- Emir Abd al-Qadir University and Mosque.
- Soumma Mausoleum
- Massinissa's Mausoleum
- The Palace of Ahmed Bey.
- Ruins of the Antonian Roman aqueduct.
- Ben Abdelmalek Stadium
The city of bridges
The topography of the city is unique and it determines the need for bridges. At the end of the XIX century, Guy de Maupassant wrote: "Eight bridges used to cross this ravine. Six of these bridges are in ruins today." Today the most important bridges are:
- the suspension bridge also named Sidi-M'Cid (1912) (168m long),
- the El-Kantara bridge which leads toward north,
- the Sidi Rached bridge (1912), a long viaduct of 447ms and 27 arches, built by Paul Séjourné,
- the Devil's bridge,
- the Falls bridge,
- the Perregaux bridge.
- the new cable-stayed bridge of Constantine, designed by Dissing+Weitling architecture
Constantine has multiple universities: Mentouri, designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, Zerzara, and the Islamic University of El amir Abdelkader, Constantine will have another university town under construction in the nouvelle ville
Twin towns — Sister cities
Constantine is twinned with:
- meteo constantine
- Jérôme Steffenino, Marguerite Masson. "Ville de Grenoble - Coopérations et villes jumelles". Grenoble.fr. Retrieved 2009-10-29.[dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Constantine, Algeria.|
- Constantine Official website
- WorldStatesmen- Algeria
- Catholic Encyclopedia article
- Future cable-stayed bridge in Constantine
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