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PHILIPPEVILLE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 390 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PHILIPPEVILLE, a seaport of Algeria, chief town of an arrondissement in the department of Constantine, and 54 M. N. by E. of that city, on the Bay of Stora, in 36° 53' N. 6° 54' E. It is connected by railway with Constantine, Batna and Biskra. The town derives its importance from being the port of Constantine. The harbour works, with every vessel in port, having been destroyed by a storm in 1878, a more commodious harbour was built, at a cost of about £r,2oo,000. From Cape Skikda, on the east a mole or breakwater projects 4592 ft. to the W.N.W., while from Chateau Vert on the west another mole runs out 1312 ft. to the north, leaving an entrance to the port about 656 ft. wide. The protected area comprises an outer and an inner basin. The depth of water at the entrance is about 33 ft., along-side the quays about 20 ft. The quays are faced with blocks of white marble brought from the quarries at Filfila, 16 m. distant. Pop. (1906), of the town 16,539, of the commune 26,050, of the arrondissement, which includes 12 communes, 147,607. Philippeville occupies the site of successive Phoenician and Roman cities. By the Romans, under whom it attained a high state of prosperity, it was named Rusicada. In the middle ages the town ceased to be inhabited. The site was purchased from the Arabs by Marshal Valee in 1838 for £6. Some parts of the Roman theatre remain, but the stones of the amphitheatre, which stood without the walls of the modern town, and which the French found in an almost perfect state of preservation, were used by them for building purposes, and the railway was cut through the site. On a hill above the town are the Roman reservoirs, which have been restored and still supply the town with water. They are fed by a canal from the Wadi Beni Meleh. The Roman baths, in the centre of the modern town, serve as cellars for military stores.
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