Northern Africa

Constantine

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Constantine is one of the world’s oldest cities, named the Arab Capital of Culture in 2015 and listed as an Algerian national heritage site.
Founded by the Phoenicians, it later became the capital of the Numidian Kingdom under the name Cirta. The city has preserved the historic relics of three millennia of Numidian, Roman, Muslim, Ottoman, and colonial occupation: as soon as one culture declined another arose, and Constantine recovered its importance throughout the centuries. The city occupies a rocky plateau surrounded by a steep gorge through which flows the Rhumel River, giving the city the characteristics of a natural fortress. Due to the numerous picturesque bridges connecting the various hills, valleys, and ravines that the city is built on and around, Constantine is often referred to as the “City of Bridges”. Each bridge is unique and follows a different design. The Romans built the first bridges to join Constantine to the plateau, and the French added others more recently. El-Kantara Bridge was the only bridge connecting Constantine with the outside world in the ancient days. Now, it holds a testament to the multiple generations: the Roman, the Ottoman, and the French. The east sector of the city provides a striking contrast with the other sectors, with its tortuous lanes and Islamic architecture, mostly built by Salah Bey, who ruled Constantine in the mid 18th century. In this sector, each trade has its special quarter, with entire streets devoted to one specific craft. There are still sections of old Turkish and Arabic buildings, however, and archeological work continues to unearth evidence of the antiquity of the city.

Constantine

Art Makers (2)
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Art Makers in Constantine

Atef Berredjem

Artist

Samta Benyahia

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