Online Encyclopedia

ALGERIA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 903 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ALGERIA.) Mostaganem occupies the site of a Roman town. The ancient harbour was destroyed by earthquake in the reign of the emperor Gallien. The present port is entirely artificial. The existing town appears to date from the time of the Almoravides, who built the citadel, now turned into a prison. It passed into the possession of the rulers of Tlemcen and was captured by Arouj Barbarossa in 1516, and became part of his brother Khair-ed-Din's kingdom. In the 16th century the town enjoyed a period of great commercial prosperity, and its population rose to 40,000. The re-awakening of the town dates from the French occupation in 1833. Pop. (1906) of the town, 19,528, of the commune 22,011, of the arrondissement, comprising 27 communes, 332,684. In the vicinity of-Mostaganem are the Dahra mountains, honey-combed with caves. In 1845, in one of these caves, a French force, commanded by Colonel Pelissier, afterwards commander-in-chief of the French army in the Crimea, destroyed over 800 Arabs—men, women and children—by suffocation, by filling the mouths of the cave with faggots and then setting them on fire.
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