Constantine-ly On My Mind

by | Jan 7, 2020 | Algeria, January 2020: The Saharan Odyssey, What Dreams May Come | 0 comments


Constantine, aka the “City of Bridges” due to the numerous bridges connecting the mountains the city is built on (and thus the only way to reach it is by a bridge!), is truly a dramatic sight to behold.



And I’m not talking about the 2005 Keanu Reeves movie! Get that outta your mind.



Formerly known as Cirta during the Roman Empire, it was renamed “Constantina” in honor of emperor Constantine the Great.

It now is regarded as the capital of Eastern Algeria and as the centre of its region, it boasts a population of around 400,000, making it the 3rd largest city in the country after Algiers and Oran.



After an early night at Ibis Hotel, we began the next morning beginning our walking tour at 8:30am at Central Square:



From there we weaved up towards the Town Hall:



You can see why it’s built farther away from the main square as it’s got probably the best seat in the house:



Head towards the tunnels around the cliffs for more views and getting a better idea of the kind of mountain where Constantine is perched:



Once past the tunnels we were able to get the classic views of the legendary sidi M’cid Bridge!



This enormous bridge, a feat of engineering hanging 125m high above the Rhummel River, was the highest bridge in the world until 1925. It now is the second highest.



Anywhere you look is another excuse to take a great photo of it.



We then headed up a few flights of stairs to the National Arch:



And then we walked back down to walk across sidi M’cid Bridge itself:



We then curved around to get better views of the other bridges that connect Constantine the rest of the world:



This one is Bridge El-Kantara:



Eventually we made a round trip back into Constantine to weave through the narrow markets of its Kasbah:



Within the Kasbah we stumbled upon the Palace of Ahmed Bey, where the Algerian military moved in after independence.



Stop by outside for a quick old school espresso:



We then returned back to Central Square, after which we headed down 4 flights of stairs (there is a public elevator as well) to walk across the Perregaux footbridge:



A minivan was waiting for us on the other side to take us down to the Bridge of the Falls, formed by a series of arches on top of a waterfall:



There’s also another view where you can see the sidi M’cid bridge dramatically perched way up high from the bottom:



We then spent a few minutes at museum of Circa, containing collections of findings from the excavations nearby Constantine.



Then for the last stop of the day, we drove over to visit Amir-Abdel-Kader Mosque.



We then returned to Algiers for a 5 hour drive to catch our 10pm flight out to Bechar!



- At time of posting in Constantine, it was 8 °C - Humidity: 87% | Wind Speed: 23km/hr | Cloud Cover: cloudy


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