Steeped in a mixed and vibrant past, the port city of Oran has origins dating back to the tenth century, when it was founded by Andalusian explorers. Due to its position on the coast, it quickly developed into a city with a thriving trade industry and it’s now an industrial, cultural and educational center for the country. Its legacy has been created by a cultural melting pot with its Islamic; Haussmann and Spanish influences that continue to be preserved today, especially due to a large number of exhibitions and events conducted by the Palace of Culture, in aiming to promote the city’s artistic life and cultural exchanges. La Ville Nouvelle is the newer part of the city, called and built by the French, which occupies the terraces on the east bank of the characteristic ravine. The old Spanish-Arab-Turkish city, called La Blanca, lies on a hill west of the ravine. This part of the old town hosts the Great Mosque, which is one of the few mosques of the continent to be open to the public. Finally, Oran is perhaps most famous for being one of the birthplaces of the rai music style. The easy-going and liberal atmosphere that pervades the city is clearly expressed throughout these enchanting musical notes of this modern music style that is popularly enjoyed in the various parts of Algeria as well as all over the world.
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