Constantine is also recognized as Qasentina and it’s the capital of Constantine Province in the northern part of Algeria. Known as the City of Bridges, Constantine is a picturesque and dramatic city located on a plateau 640 meters above sea level, and almost totally surrounded by dizzying ravines with the Rhumel River flowing through. A city enmeshed in history; Constantine was founded by the Phoenicians who named it Sewa (royal city). It was taken over by Numidia who renamed it Cirta, before it fell to the Romans and later named after Emperor Constantine the Great.
There are presently eight spectacular bridges in the city, the latest being the Pont Salah Bey which is less than a year old (commissioned in July 2014). The other seven bridges dates back to the colonial period, the oldest being Pont Sidi Rached, commissioned in 1863.
Remarkably, it was in Constantine that Charles Laveran discovered the protozoan parasites that causes malaria, after treating a soldier in 1880.
While, Constantine may not offer much to see beyond the bridges and gorge; it was recently named the City of Arab Culture for 2015.
Constantine is one of the most recognized destinations in North Africa.
The picturesque Constantine region has wonderful beautiful forests and groves, mountain creeks and rare birds. The Rhumel River gorge, which plunges hundreds of feet below the city\'s dozen historic suspension bridges and the bridges themselves are something for the sight! As an ancient city, Constantine is also a rich historic site. Notable sites that you must not miss here include the Arab-styled Ahmed Bey Palace which is one of the most picturesque in the Maghreb, and the Djamma el-Kebir Mosque. Be sure also to visit the Musée National Cirta (formerly called the Gustave Mercier Museum) which exhibits ancient and contemporary art, the Abd al Hamid Ben-Badis Mosque, the Casbah, the Soumma Mausoleum at Khroub, the ruins of the Antonian Roman aqueduct, the Roman city of Tiddis and the megalithic monuments and burial grounds at Djebel Mazala Salluste are worthy sites you must see too. Part of the city’s biggest tourism assets is its friendly people. So while you explore its landmarks, don’t miss out on the chance to enjoy quality time with the people.
With a blend of Arab, European and Berber influence, Constantine offers something for all taste buds. The breakfast is characteristically a blend of fried, honey-soaked, sugar-dusted treats such as fresh bread with jam and butter and some home baked date sweets. Strong and thick coffee can be used to savour Baghir, a spongy semolina pancake, Sfenj—a puffy dough ring, or M’shewsha—a local omelette. Couscous, Mechoui—a dish consisting of an entire lamb set in a buffet-style, Merguez, Tagine and pasta are popular meals in the city. For the adventurous traveller, local dishes such as Bouzellouf, a dish with a sheep head and feet, Kourdass—made of sections of lamb tripe stuffed with chunks of spiced meat, lace fat, lung, and intestines and Osbane—a sheep stomach packed tight with spiced lung, liver, intestines and a handful of chickpeas and then boiled into submission over several hours in a tomato-based sauce are worth the try. Mint tea, Selecto soda and Lben and Rayeb are the popular drink in this region.