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Constantine, Algeria

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Constantine
قسنطينة, Qusanṭīnah
Commune and city
Official seal of Constantine
Seal
Constantine is located in Algeria
Constantine
Constantine

Coordinates: 36°21′N 6°36′E / 36.350°N 6.600°E / 36.350; 6.600Coordinates: 36°21′N 6°36′E / 36.350°N 6.600°E / 36.350; 6.600{{#coordinates:36|21|N|6|36|E|region:DZ_type:city|| |primary |name=

}}
Country  Algeria
Province Constantine Province
District Constantine District
Government
 • President A. Chibane (2007-2012)
Area
 • Total 2,288 km2 (883 sq mi)
Population (1998)
 • Total 750,000
 • Density 330/km2 (850/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)

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.

History

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.

In World War II, during the campaign in North Africa (1942–43), Constantine and the nearby city of Sétif were used by the Allied forces as operational bases.

Geography

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.[citation needed] Algeria and Tunisia serve as its markets.

Climate

[1]

Climate data for Constantine
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 78.8
(26.0)
77.9
(25.5)
82.8
(28.2)
88.9
(31.6)
94.1
(34.5)
101.7
(38.7)
112.1
(44.5)
110.8
(43.8)
102.2
(39.0)
93.6
(34.2)
84.4
(29.1)
78.4
(25.8)
112.1
(44.5)
Average high °F (°C) 56.1
(13.4)
56.7
(13.7)
60.4
(15.8)
65.5
(18.6)
73.2
(22.9)
79.3
(26.3)
86.9
(30.5)
87.8
(31.0)
77.4
(25.2)
69.3
(20.7)
61.0
(16.1)
55.4
(13.0)
69.08
(20.60)
Average low °F (°C) 38.3
(3.5)
38.8
(3.8)
40.5
(4.7)
44.6
(7.0)
52.7
(11.5)
56.5
(13.6)
61.2
(16.2)
61.2
(16.2)
56.7
(13.7)
50.9
(10.5)
45.3
(7.4)
38.1
(3.4)
48.73
(9.29)
Record low °F (°C) 14.5
(−9.7)
17.1
(−8.3)
23.4
(−4.8)
32.5
(0.3)
39.6
(4.2)
40.8
(4.9)
43.0
(6.1)
42.8
(6.0)
39.6
(4.2)
31.8
(−0.1)
26.8
(−2.9)
14.9
(−9.5)
14.5
(−9.7)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.457
(62.4)
2.476
(62.9)
1.803
(45.8)
1.831
(46.5)
1.138
(28.9)
0.685
(17.4)
0.634
(16.1)
0.602
(15.3)
0.85
(21.6)
1.346
(34.2)
2.051
(52.1)
2.657
(67.5)
18.48
(469.4)
[citation needed]

People

Constantine is the native city of the Islamic reformator Ben Badis. It is also the hometown of many noteworthy people in Algeria and France.

Capture of Constantine by French troops, 13 October 1837. Horace Vernet.

Main sights

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.

Nearby is the Roman city of Tiddis and the megalithic monuments and burial grounds at Djebel Mazala Salluste.

The city of bridges

le pont des chutes

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

Education

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

International relations

Constantine, Algeria 1840

Twin towns — Sister cities

Constantine is twinned with:

France Grenoble, France[2]
Turkey Istanbul, Turkey
Tunisia Sousse, Tunisia

References

  1. meteo constantine
  2. Jérôme Steffenino, Marguerite Masson. "Ville de Grenoble - Coopérations et villes jumelles". Grenoble.fr. Retrieved 2009-10-29. [dead link]

External links

ar:قسنطينة

bn:কন্সটান্টিন br:Konstantin (Aljeria) bg:Константин (град) ca:Constantina cs:Constantine (město) cy:Constantine, Algeria da:Constantine de:Constantine (Algerien) et:Constantine es:Constantina (Argelia) eo:Konstantino (Alĝerio) fa:قسنطینه fr:Constantine (Algérie) hi:कांस्टैंटाइन, अल्जीरिया id:Constantine, Aljazair it:Costantina (Algeria) he:קונסטנטין (אלג'יריה) la:Cirta lt:Konstantina mk:Константин, Алжир arz:قسنطينه nl:Constantine (stad) ja:コンスタンティーヌ no:Constantine (Algerie) pl:Konstantyna (miasto) pt:Constantina (Argélia) ro:Constantine, Algeria ru:Константина (город) sr:Константин (Алжир) fi:Constantine sv:Constantine (stad) kab:Qsemṭina tr:Konstantin (şehir) war:Constantine, Alherya zh:君士坦丁 (阿尔及利亚)

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