Constantine, Algeria

Known as the City of Bridges, Constantine is a picturesque and dramatic looking 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.

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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 named the City of Arab Culture for 2015.

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