by Thomas Buechler - 9 months, 3 weeks ago
In the shared taxi on the way to Constantine I met an elderly Algerian who spoke perfect German. He was studying in Berlin, of course in the East at the time...and was very well educated. I was positively surprised by Constantine which is after Algiers and Oran the 3rd biggest city in Algeria. It was also called Cirta and renamed Constantine after Constantine the Great. The city has a spectacular location along a deep canyon. Born in the city in 1927, poet Malek Haddad once wrote: “You do not introduce Constantine. She introduces herself, and you salute her." The old elevator took me down to the Passerelle Mellah Slimane footbridge (since 1925) and the great view from here is probably the coolest thing to do, and also a wonderful photo opportunity. You would not want to settle down in one of the adjoining houses right on the gorge, it goes down vertically more than 100 meters to the Rhumel river. But just wandering around the historic center and enjoy the many colonial buildings is yet another thing to do; then I climbed the hill where the Memorial for the victims of World War I is located. The view from here to the canyon below, the bridges and almost the entire city of Constantine is just breathtakingly beautiful. Not surprisingly, Constantine was chosen as "Capital of Arab Culture" in 2015.