Past Cities

Bejaïa, Béjaïa, Algeria

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Bejaïa, also known as Béjaïa, is a coastal city located in the northern part of Algeria. It is the capital of the Béjaïa Province and is situated on the Mediterranean Sea. The city has a rich history that dates back to prehistoric times, and its strategic location has made it an important center of trade and commerce throughout the centuries.

The earliest known inhabitants of the Bejaïa region were the Berbers, who established several tribal kingdoms in the area. In the 7th century, Arab armies led by the Umayyad Caliphate conquered the region and established Islam as the dominant religion. Bejaïa became an important port city under Arab rule and was a major center of commerce in the Mediterranean.

In the 11th century, the city was captured by the Almoravids, a Berber dynasty that ruled over much of North Africa and Spain. They built several fortifications in the city and established Bejaïa as an important center of trade and culture. The city flourished under their rule and became known as a center of scholarship and learning.

In the 13th century, the city was captured by the Hafsids, a Berber dynasty that ruled over Tunisia and eastern Algeria. They made Bejaïa their capital and built several important buildings, including a mosque and a palace. The city continued to thrive under their rule and became known as a center of art and literature.

In the 16th century, Bejaïa was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, which established a naval base in the city. The Ottomans built several fortifications and strengthened the city's defenses against attacks from European powers. Bejaïa remained under Ottoman rule for over three centuries and was an important center of trade and commerce in the Mediterranean.

During the French colonial period in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Bejaïa was an important center of resistance against French rule. The city was a stronghold of the Algerian nationalist movement and was the site of several important protests and demonstrations. In 1955, the city was the site of a major massacre by French troops, in which hundreds of Algerian civilians were killed.

After Algeria gained independence from France in 1962, Bejaïa became an important industrial center and a hub of economic activity in the region. The city's population grew rapidly, and today it is home to over 200,000 people.

In recent years, Bejaïa has experienced political and economic turmoil, as Algeria has struggled with high unemployment and a stagnant economy. The city has also been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted trade and commerce in the region.

Despite these challenges, Bejaïa remains an important center of culture, history, and commerce in Algeria. Its strategic location on the Mediterranean, combined with its rich history and diverse population, make it a fascinating and dynamic city that continues to attract visitors and investors from around the world.