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Sidi Bel Abbes
Arabic: sidi bal¢abās

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Sidi Bel Abbes

Sidi Bel Abbes

City in northwestern Algeria with 200,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), situated in the interior along the seasonal river Wadi Mekerra in the Tell Atlas Moutains at an elevation of 470 metres, 75 km from the Mediterranean Sea.
It is the capital of Sidi Bel Abbes province with 590,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 9,096 km².
The economic base for the city is the surrounding agriculture, producing cereals like wheat and barley, and grapes. Industry includes a farm-machine manufacturing complex.
Sidi Bel Abbes is well-connected with other urban centres of Algeria by road and rail. Oran lies 70 km north, Tlemcen 90 km west. Oran has the nearest airport.
The city is surrounded by a wall with 4 gates. The city has a university.
Sidi Bel Abbes is named after a sacred Muslim man who has his tomb here.

1843: The French establishes a military outpost next to the village of Sidi Bel Abbes. It would serve as the headquarters of the Foreign Legion.
1849: A French designed town is established here.
1930s: Much of the old city walls are demolished and wide boulevards and squares replace the traditional quarters.

By Tore Kjeilen