Rome was the ruler of most of the known ancient world. Some of the best Roman ruins are to be found in Algeria. For more facts and information, read our guide…
Djemilla stands out as one of the world’s best places to view Roman ruins. Although it is not the biggest, it is one of the best preserved and features wonderful mosaics that other locations do not, as they have been carted off to national museums.
Djemilla is the modern name to the ancient Roman site of Cuicul, which was founded as a military outpost to control and take advantage of the area’s agricultural efforts. Algeria, known as Nubia, became the breadbasket of Rome, growing much of the Empire’s wheat.
The city boasted two forums and a theatre which was put outside the city walls due to the landforms around the city. There were probably as many as 20,000 people living here in the 3rd century A.D. The city was abandoned in the 5th century, as Rome started to crumble.
Excavation started in 1909. There is now a museum that is really too small for all it contains: the aforementioned mosaics and many statues from Roman times. There is also a baptistery from ancient times.
Timgad is a city located about 35 miles from Batna. It was a military garrison founded around 100AD by the Roman emperor Trajan. Its purpose was to withstand attacks from the native Berbers. The population was made up of Parthian veterans of the Roman army that had been given land grants.
Timgad, though not as well preserved as Djemilla, does show more about how the Romans laid out their cities. It is the best example of the plan in the grid design.
In the 4th century Timgad became a centre for Christian activities. In the 5th century it was sacked by the Vandals and later repopulated by the Byzantines. In the 700’s, the city was abandoned and only in 1898 were the ruins excavated.
The third major area of ruins is at Tipasa, located on the Mediterranean 42 miles from Algiers. It was founded by the Phoenicians and later conquered by the Romans. Here you will be able to view the ruins of three ancient churches, two ancient cemeteries, baths, a theatre and an amphitheater.
The city was located on three hills facing the Mediterranean Sea. You can also see the remains of the ancient harbor located there. The Romans used Tipasa as a base for their conquest of ancient Mauritania.
With these three sites, Algeria is one of the greatest places in the world to explore Roman ruins. The history buff will find a tour to these areas to be an absolute delight.