Visiting The City of Constantine: The Most Beautiful Historical Monuments to Discover

You can’t live or visit Algeria without having gone around at least once to the city of suspension bridges. Clinging to a rocky outcrop that skirts the Wadi Rhumel, Constantine is a magnificent city perched at an altitude of 630 m, just below the sky.

With its rich cultural, historical and artistic heritage, Constantine has remarkable monuments. The following list praises some of them.

Emir Abdelkader Mosque

The Mosque of Emir Abdelkader of Constantine is one of the most spectacular mosques of Algeria’s national heritage.

Inaugurated by the head of government, Mokdad Sifi on 31 October 1994, this religious building covers a total area of 13 hectares, encompassing the buildings of the Islamic university and a mosque that can accommodate nearly 20,000 worshippers.

Mosquée de l'Émir Abdelkader à Constantine

Mosque of Emir Abdelkader in Constantine

In addition to its spiritual character, the mosque is considered one of the most important Islamic universities on the African continent. The building was built in a purely Maghreb architectural style. Indeed, the building is impressive, both for its size and for the beauty and richness of its decoration. Visitors flock from all over to pray or simply visit.

Sidi M’Cid Bridge

The Sidi M’Cid Suspension Bridge is a road bridge constructed of steel. Designed by the French engineer Ferdinand Arnodin, its construction was completed in 1912 and it was inaugurated at the same time as the Sidi Rached bridge.

Pont Sidi M'Cid à Constantine

Sidi M’Cid Bridge in Constantine

Almost 6 m wide, 164 m long and weighing 17.5 tonnes, it spans the Oued Rhumel at 175 m above the waves. Suspended in mid-air, it crosses the Rhummel gorges and connects the medina of Constantine to the university hospital. Its construction, decided after the opening of the city’s hospital, saves the people of Constantine from having to make a long detour over the El-Kantara Bridge to get to the University Hospital.

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War Memorial

Created as a tribute to the town’s grandchildren who lost their lives during the First World War, the War Memorial, inaugurated in 1930, is built at an altitude of 635 m on a cliff bordering the right bank of the Wadi Rhumel and overlooking the Sidi M’Cid bridge. And in front of the monument, on the edge of the cliff, a semi-circular terrace offers a panoramic view of the Rhumel valley thanks to an orientation table.

Monument aux Morts

War Memorial in Constantine / Credit: @Mahieddine Boumendjel via Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned for nearly two decades to delinquents of all kinds, the site, a witness to the history of the city of Constantine, has been the subject of a major rehabilitation and requalification operation, in particular by the mobilization of brigades to ensure the security of the site as well as the development of a car park. The monument has thus become a family place par excellence, inviting groups of friends and families to relax and spend quiet recreational moments taking refuge from the city and its stress.

The Roman ruins of Tiddis

The ruins of the city of Tiddis are not far from the capital of Constantine. The latter was responsible for the protection of Tiddis during the times when the Roman Empire dominated the region.

An ancient Berber village called Taddart, the small town also called “Castellum Tidditanorum” unfolds nearly 3,000 years of history from the Libyan era to the Byzantine era. Unearthed by the French archaeologist André Berthier in the 1940s, this thousand-year-old Roman city, built to protect the ancient and legendary Cirta, has acquired the status of an exceptional site.

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Ruines romaines de Tiddis

Ruins of the ancient Roman city of Tiddis in Constantine

Human occupation in Tiddis dates back to prehistoric times, as evidenced by dolmens, burial mounds, modelled ceramics and bazina. Indeed, one of the vases found under the rubble of the city bears the oldest Libyan (Berber) inscription known to date.

The remains of a Christian chapel and a good number of Roman inscriptions have also been attested. Also, water towers and cisterns are a reminder that the city was terribly lacking in water sources. In the city there is also the Mausoleum of “Quintus Lollius Urbicus”, built by Quintus himself, a native of Tiddis and son of a wealthy Berber landowner, he later became prefect of Rome.

Regional Theatre of Constantine

Inaugurated on 6 October 1883, the Constantine Regional Theatre was the joint work of architects Jean Monnier and Jean Gion. And almost all of his ornamental sculptures are by Gustave Germain.

The building was made of paired stone, the facades being masterpieces of classical architecture of the 19th century and the foundations of the main façade of bush-hammered rough stone. In the height of the hall, the façade is covered with a veneer of beautiful light stones, and at the first floor level, the façade is composed of windows with pediments, projecting pillars, allegorical sculptures at the bottom of niches framing the balconies and balusters on balconies.

Théâtre régional de Constantine

Regional Theatre of Constantine

The auditorium of the Theatre of Constantine, with its sculptures, paintings, decorations, and motifs, is the reflection of an Italian style that is associated with the historical design of the theatre, in addition to the monumental marble staircase, as well as all its remarkable interior decoration.

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Mellah Slimane Footbridge

Built over a period of 8 years, from 1917 to 1925, it was opened to traffic on April 12, 1925. Reserved for pedestrians only, it is 125 m long and 2.5 m wide.

The Mellah Slimane footbridge, formerly known as the Perrégaux or Elevator Bridge, connects the city center to the station area via a staircase and is located halfway between the El Kantara bridge and the Sidi Rached bridge.

La passerelle Mellah Slimane à Constantine

Le pont suspendu Mellah Slimane à Constantine

Cette passerelle, a l’architecture somptueuse, illustre la technique des ponts suspendus et peut même être considérée comme un modèle réduit du pont de Sidi M’Cid. En 2002, le pont a été soumis à une grande opération de restauration qui l’a remis sur pied. Aujourd’hui, ce dernier fait partie de la très belle collection de la ville des ponts suspendus.

Pont d’El-Kantara

Ce pont fut la principale voie d’accès de Constantine et le lieu principal des assauts de la ville aussi. En 1185, tous les ponts romains ont été détruits, mais le pont d’El Kantara lui est restauré et redevient fonctionnel, il sera à nouveau détruit en 1304.

Pont El Kantara à Constantine

Pont El Kantara à Constantine

The dimensions of El Kantara are impressive. Measuring 128 m long and dominating the Rhumel from a height of 125 m, it consists of two large masonry piers built on each of the banks of the ravine, about 100 m from the ground and connected by an arch with a span of 56 m.

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Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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