Oran
Overview
 
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 coast of Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, and the second largest city of the country.

It is the capital of the Oran Province
Oran Province
Oran is a province in Algeria whose seat is the city of the same name.-Geography:It is located in the northwestern part of the country. Its population is 1,584,607 and it covers a total area of 2,114 km²...

 (wilaya). The city has a population of 759,645 (2008), while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest city in Algeria. Oran is a major port, and since the 1960s has been the commercial, industrial, and educational centre of western Algeria.
Oran was founded in 903 by Moorish
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 Andalusi
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 traders but was captured by the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 under Cardinal Cisneros in 1509.
Encyclopedia
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 coast of Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, and the second largest city of the country.

It is the capital of the Oran Province
Oran Province
Oran is a province in Algeria whose seat is the city of the same name.-Geography:It is located in the northwestern part of the country. Its population is 1,584,607 and it covers a total area of 2,114 km²...

 (wilaya). The city has a population of 759,645 (2008), while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest city in Algeria. Oran is a major port, and since the 1960s has been the commercial, industrial, and educational centre of western Algeria.

History

Oran was founded in 903 by Moorish
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 Andalusi
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 traders but was captured by the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 under Cardinal Cisneros in 1509. Spanish sovereignty lasted until 1708, when the city was conquered by the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Spain recaptured the city in 1732. However, its value as a trading post had decreased greatly, so King Charles IV
Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV was King of Spain from 14 December 1788 until his abdication on 19 March 1808.-Early life:...

 sold the city to the Turks in 1792. Ottoman rule lasted until 1831, when it fell to the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

During French rule
French colonial empire
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

 over Algeria, Oran was the capital of a département of the same name (number 92). In July 1940, the British navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 shelled French warships
Destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir
The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir, part of Operation Catapult and also known as the Battle of Mers-el-Kébir, was a naval engagement fought at Mers-el-Kébir on the coast of what was then French Algeria on 3 July 1940...

 in the port after they refused a British ultimatum to surrender which was designed to ensure the fleet would not fall into German hands. The action increased the hatred of the Vichy regime for Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 but convinced the world the British would fight on alone against Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and its allies. The Vichy government
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

 held Oran during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 until its capture by the Allies
Allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

 in late 1942, during Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

.

Before the Algerian War, 1954–1962, Oran had one of the highest proportions of Europeans of any city in North Africa. However, shortly after the end of the war, most of the European
European ethnic groups
The ethnic groups in Europe are the various ethnic groups that reside in the nations of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe....

s and Sephardic Jews living in Oran fled to France. A massacre of Europeans
Oran massacre of 1962
The Oran massacre of 1962 was a massacre of European—mostly French—civilians in Oran, Algeria on July 5, 1962, at the end of the Algerian War . Although the majority of deaths were European, Algerians were also massacred. Estimates of the death toll vary widely, from a low of 95 to a high of 3,500....

, four days after the vote for Algerian independence
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, triggered the exodus to France. In less than three months Oran lost about half its population.
Berber-Arab-Islamic period
Start year End year Event
910 1082 Oran became a perpetual object of conflict between the Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

s of Spain and the Fatimides of Kairouan
Kairouan
Kairouan , also known as Kirwan or al-Qayrawan , is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia. Referred to as the Islamic Cultural Capital, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was founded by the Arabs around 670...

.
1082 1145 Presence of Almoravides. In 1145, Ibrahim Ben Ta chfin perished in Oran while fighting against the already victorious Almohades troops in front of Tlemcen
Tlemcen
Tlemcen is a town in Northwestern Algeria, and the capital of the province of the same name. It is located inland in the center of a region known for its olive plantations and vineyards...

.
1145 1238 Presence of Almohades. 1147 marked the beginning of persecution against Oran's Jews.
1238 1509 Presence of the Zianides
Abdalwadid
Zayyanids or Abd al-Wadids , or Banu Zayan, is the name of a Berber zenata dynasty in North Africa. The Zayyanids, whose capital was Tlemcen existed from 1235 to 1556...

 of Tlemcen
Tlemcen
Tlemcen is a town in Northwestern Algeria, and the capital of the province of the same name. It is located inland in the center of a region known for its olive plantations and vineyards...

 and then the Marinid dynasty of Fes
Fes
Fes or Fez is the second largest city of Morocco, after Casablanca, with a population of approximately 1 million . It is the capital of the Fès-Boulemane region....

. The protection by the Emir, the customs system (tariffs), trade with Marseilles, and the Italian Maritime Republics
Repubbliche Marinare
The maritime republics were a number of city-states which flourished in Italy in the Middle Ages. The best known are the Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa and Venice. These states competed with each other both militarily and commercially...

 of Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 and Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

, with whom, in 1250, Oran signed a commercial treaty of forty year's duration, made the Oranians rich. So much so, that toward the end of the 14th century, celebrated Arab historian Ibn Khaldoun wrote the following, "Oran is superior to all other cities by its trade. It's a paradise for the unhappy one. Those who arrive poor in its walls, will leave it again rich." The city excelled in the exportation of lead, wool, skins, fine burnous, carpets, haïks, cumin, nuts, and galls, without forgetting the draft of black slaves.

Spanish period

Before the Spaniards, the Portuguese launched a failed expedition to capture the city in July 1501. Four years later, the Spanish took Mers-el-Kébir
Mers-el-Kébir
Mers-el-Kébir is a port town in northwestern Algeria, located by the Mediterranean Sea near Oran, in the Oran Province.-History:Originally a Roman port, Mers-el-Kébir became an Almohad naval arsenal in the 12th century, fell under the rulers of Tlemcen in the 15th century, and eventually became a...

, located just four miles to the west of the Oran. Thus began the first organized incursions against the city which, at the time, numbered 25,000 inhabitants and counted 6,000 fueros. Count Pedro Navarro
Pedro Navarro, Count of Oliveto
Don Pedro Navarro, Count of Oliveto was a Spanish military engineer and general who participated in the War of the League of Cambrai. At the Battle of Ravenna in 1512 he commanded the Spanish and Papal infantry, but was captured by the French...

, on the orders of Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, captured the city on May 17, 1509.

By 1554, the Turks had reached Algiers, and then governor of Oran, Count Alcaudete, allied himself with Moroccan Sultan Mohammed ash-Sheikh
Mohammed ash-Sheikh
Mawlay Mohammed ash-Sheikh ash Sharif al-Hassani al-Drawi at-Tagmadert was the first sultan of the Saadi dynasty ruling over Morocco . "Al-Drawi at-Tagmadert" means: the man from the Draa river valley, from Tagmadert. He was particularly successful in expelling the Portuguese from most of their...

 against them. Nine years later, in 1563, Álvaro de Bazán
Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquis of Santa Cruz
Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquis of Santa Cruz de Mudela , was a Spanish admiral.-Biography:Álvaro de Bazán was born in Granada....

, Marquis de Santa Cruz, built the fort of Santa-Cruz
Fort Santa Cruz, Oran
Fort Santa Cruz, Oran is one of the three forts in Oran, the second largest port city of Algeria; the other two forts are Fort de la Moune at the western end of the port and Fort St. Philippe, a replacement of the old castle of the Saints known in Spanish as Castillo de los Santos, at the centre of...

, strategically placed at the top of a mountain, l'Aïdour, more than 1000 ft (304.8 m) above the sea, directly to the west of the city. Pedro Garcerán de Borja, Grand Master of the Order of Montesa
Order of Montesa
The Order of Montesa is a Christian military order, territorially limited to the Kingdom of Aragon.-Templar background:The Templars had been received with enthusiasm in Aragon from their foundation in 1128...

, was captain of Oran when, on July 14, 1568, John of Austria (the illegitimate son of Charles I and thus the paternal half-brother of King Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

), led a flotilla
Flotilla
A flotilla , or naval flotilla, is a formation of small warships that may be part of a larger fleet. A flotilla is usually composed of a homogeneous group of the same class of warship, such as frigates, destroyers, torpedo boats, submarines, gunboats, or minesweepers...

 of 33 galleys against the Algerians.

In April 1669 the Spanish governor, the Marquis of del los Vélez expelled all the Jews who lived in Oran and Mers El Kébir sending them to be resettled in either Nice
Nice
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

, and Livorno
Livorno
Livorno , traditionally Leghorn , is a port city on the Tyrrhenian Sea on the western edge of Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Livorno, having a population of approximately 160,000 residents in 2009.- History :...

.

The Spanish rebuilt the fortress of Santa Cruz Fort
Fort Santa Cruz, Oran
Fort Santa Cruz, Oran is one of the three forts in Oran, the second largest port city of Algeria; the other two forts are Fort de la Moune at the western end of the port and Fort St. Philippe, a replacement of the old castle of the Saints known in Spanish as Castillo de los Santos, at the centre of...

 to accommodate their city governors. "The fortifications of the place were composed of thick and continuous walls of over two and a half kilometers in circumference, surmounted by strong towers spaced between them," with a central castle or kasbah
Kasbah
A kasbah or qassabah is a type of medina, Islamic city, or fortress .It was a place for the local leader to live and a defense when a city was under attack. A kasbah has high walls, usually without windows. Sometimes, they were built on hilltops so that they could be more easily defended...

where the Spanish governor established his headquarters. The city under Spanish rule continued to grow, requiring enlargement of the city walls. In spite of the improved fortifications, the city was the object of repeated attacks. Notable in this regard, Moroccan Sharif Moulay Ismail tried to force his way past the defenses in 1707, only to see his army decimated.

Ottoman period

The Spaniards occupied the city until 1708, when the Turkish Bey
Bey
Bey is a title for chieftain, traditionally applied to the leaders of small tribal groups. Accoding to some sources, the word "Bey" is of Turkish language In historical accounts, many Turkish, other Turkic and Persian leaders are titled Bey, Beg, Bek, Bay, Baig or Beigh. They are all the same word...

, Mustapha Ben Youssef (Bouchelaghem) took advantage of the War of Spanish Succession to drive them out.

In 1732, Spanish forces, under José Carrillo de Albornoz captured the city from Bey Hassan in the Battle of Aïn-el-Turk.

In the night after October 8, 1790, a violent earthquake claimed more than 3,000 victims in less than seven minutes. Thereafter Charles IV
Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV was King of Spain from 14 December 1788 until his abdication on 19 March 1808.-Early life:...

 saw no advantage in continuing the occupation of the city, which had become increasingly expensive and perilous. He initiated discussions with the Bey of Algiers
History of Ottoman Algeria
Ottoman Algeria was an Ottoman territory centered on Algiers, in modern Algeria. It was established around 1525 when Hayreddin Barbarossa recaptured the city. The Regency of Algiers was the principal center of Ottoman Empire power in the Maghreb. It was also a base from which attacks were made on...

. A treaty handing over the city was signed on September 12, 1792. After another earthquake had damaged the Spanish defences, Bey Ben Othman's forces took possession of Oran on October 8 of the same year. In 1792, the Ottomans settled a Jewish community there. In 1796, the Pasha Mosque (in honour of Hassan Pasha, Dey
Dey
Dey was the title given to the rulers of the Regency of Algiers and Tripoli under the Ottoman Empire from 1671 onwards...

 of Algeria), was built by the Turks with ransom money paid for the release of Spanish prisoners after Spain's final departure. In 1830 the Beys moved their capital from Mascara to Oran.

French period

The town of 10,000 inhabitants was still in the possession of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, when a squadron under the command of captain Bourmand seized el-Kébir on December 14, 1830. The city was in a wretched state. On January 4, 1831, the French commanded by General Denys de Damrémont occupied Oran. In September 1830 the King appointed a police chief with the function of mayor in Algiers.
In September 1831, General Berthezène made Mr. Pujol, captain of cavalry in retirement and wounded at the right hand under the Empire, mayor of Oran.
In 1832, at the head of five thousand men, a young Emir called Abd al-Qadir attacks Oran. In April 1833, commander-in-chief, General Boyer, leaves Oran and is replaced by the baron Louis Alexis Desmichels. The cities defenders,under attack by Abd el Kader, holds their ground .
  • 1836, General Létang transforms the glacis Castle-Nine into a walk which bears its name. At the beginning of 1837 General Bugeaud arrives in Oran to negotiate a new treaty (The Treaty of Tafna
    Treaty of Tafna
    The Treaty of Tafna was signed by both Abd-el-Kader and General Thomas Robert Bugeaud on May 30, 1837. This agreement was developed after French imperial forces sustained heavy losses and military reversals in Algeria. The terms of the treaty entailed Abd-el-Kader recognizing French imperial...

    , May 20) with Emir Abd El-Kader. On November 14 the Emir signs a treaty with Desmichel recognizing its authority to the west of Algiers except for Oran, Mostaganem and Arzew.
  • 1845, Construction of the "Village Nègre" by General Lamoricière
    Christophe Léon Louis Juchault de Lamoricière
    Christophe Léon Louis Juchault de Lamoricière was a French general.-Life:He was born at Nantes, and entered the Engineers in 1828. He served in the Algerian campaigns from 1830 onwards, and by 1840 he had risen to the grade of maréchal-de-camp . Three years later he was made a general of division...

     .
  • 1847, Following a dramatic drought lasting several months, a terrible epidemic of cholera strikes and decimates a big part of the population of Oran.
  • From 1848, Oran was the prefecture of the department of the same name. Creation of the small Basin of the Old Port (four hectares). A civil hospital is built.
  • 1849, Construction of the vault of the Virgin to get rid of the cholera. The members of the first general council of Oran, named by Emperor Napoleon III, meet on December 5, 1858 with the prefecture, with Jules de Pre de Saint-Maur as chairman.
  • 1866 July 25, Creation of the oran diocesis
    Diocesis
    Diocesis is a Latin word which can refer to:# a Roman administrative unit# an ecclesiastical unit of the Roman Catholic Church...

    .
  • 1880, Beginning of the construction of the Large synagogue of Oran. Oran builds a great extension starting from the place d'Armes. The ravine of l'Oued Rouina is filled.
  • 1881, Appearance of the first horse drawn trams.
  • 1886, Inauguration of Hotel de Ville, the City Hall.
  • 1899, First electric trams.
  • 1900, the city has 90,000 inhabitants.
  • 1907, Construction of the theatre.
  • 1909 December 14, the first flight in Oran is carried out by Julien Serviès on a Sommer monoplane at Sénia,. Next 9 January, a great meeting gathers forty thousand people, also in Sénia, in the presence of Marshal Lyautey
    Hubert Lyautey
    Louis Hubert Gonzalve Lyautey was a French Army general, the first Resident-General in Morocco from 1912 to 1925 and from 1921 Marshal of France.-Early life:...

    .
  • 1913, Opening to the worship of the Cathedral Sacré Coeur.

  • 1918, Dedication of the Great Synagogue of Oran
    Great Synagogue of Oran
    The Great Synagogue of Oran , Algeria, was built and consecrated in 1880 at the initiative of Simon Kanoui, but its inauguration took place only in 1918...

  • 1930, Creation of new districts, less dense and more luxurious, completing the urbanisation of the first crown, in its part directed towards the interior of the country; these districts are higher Gambetta, Bon Reception, the Beavers, Médioni, Small Boulanger, Cité... This development continues overall with the creation of districts even more sumptuous, overflowing the first crown (district of Saint-Hubert, Palm trees, Point of the Day, Gambetta...)
  • 1930–32, Sénia, the Oran aérodrome, is where several world records of duration and distance in closed loop are established.
  • 1940, Beginning of the construction of the new prefecture.
  • 1940 July 3, Part of the French fleet
    French Navy
    The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

     of the Atlantic based at Mers el Kébir, is bombarded while at anchor by the British fleet
    Royal Navy
    The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

     coming from Gibraltar
    Gibraltar
    Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

    , causing the loss of three battleships: Dunkerque
    French battleship Dunkerque
    The Dunkerque was the first unit of a new class of warships of the French Navy built in the 1930s, officially rated as battleships, or even «navires de ligne» , as Dunkerque and Strasbourg constituted, from the commissionig of Strasbourg to some days after Mers-el Kebir, the «1ère Division de Ligne»...

    , Provence
    French battleship Provence
    The Provence was a French Navy battleship of the Bretagne class named in honour of the French region of Provence.- Construction :She was built by Arsenal de Lorient, and her keel was laid on 1 May 1912...

     and Bretagne
    French battleship Bretagne
    The Bretagne was a battleship of the French Navy, and the lead ship of her class. She was named in honour of the French region of Brittany, and was built by Arsenal de Brest...

    . One thousand two hundred French sailors perish. The British feared that if France totally capitulated to Hitler the French fleet could be taken over and used against them.
  • 1942 November 8, as prelude to the invasion of Italy the British and the Americans land at Arzew and Oran capitulates on November 10.
  • 1950, Oran has 256,661 inhabitants. Sixty-five percent of the total of Europeans is of Spanish origin more than the total number of Muslims in the city.
  • 1957, Construction of the municipal stage named "Fouques-Duparc", with a capacity of forty-five thousand.
  • 1958 June 6, visit by French president General Charles de Gaulle
    Charles de Gaulle
    Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

    .
  • 1960, First barricades.
  • 1961 August, appearance of the Organisation de l'armée secrète. The census states the population of Oran 400,000 inhabitants: 220,000 Europeans and 180,000 Muslims.
  • 1962, Recrudescence of the attacks. One of the chiefs of the OAS, Edmond Jouhaud
    Edmond Jouhaud
    Edmond Jouhaud was one of four French generals who briefly staged a putsch in Algeria in April 1961. As Army General he had been the Inspector General of the Air Force in French North Africa. After the failure of the putsch, he became the deputy of Raoul Salan in the Organisation de l'Armée Secrète...

    , is arrested on March 25. In June he sets fire to port with ten million tons of fuel darkening the sky of the city. The Algerian reaction, later known as the Oran massacre of 1962
    Oran massacre of 1962
    The Oran massacre of 1962 was a massacre of European—mostly French—civilians in Oran, Algeria on July 5, 1962, at the end of the Algerian War . Although the majority of deaths were European, Algerians were also massacred. Estimates of the death toll vary widely, from a low of 95 to a high of 3,500....

    , ended the French presence in the city.

Etymology

A locally popular legend tells that in the period around 900 BC, there were sightings of lions in the area. The two last felines were killed in a mountain near the city of Oran, which is now known as La montagne des Lions ("The Mountain of Lions"). In fact, there are two giant lion statues in front of Oran's city hall, hence the twin lions' mountain is Oran's symbol.

Oran today

Today, Oran is a major port and a commercial centre, and has three universities. The old quarter of Oran has a casbah
Casbah
The Casbah ) is specifically the citadel of Algiers in Algeria and the traditional quarter clustered around it. More generally, a kasbah is the walled citadel of many North African cities and towns...

 and an 18th century mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

.

Oran has become a major trading centre for the wider area, serving Arzew, the areas oil/gas port as well as Sonatrach, the countries biggest oil and gas company. Sonatrach has built a new congress centre in Oran and in 2010 the 16th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas will be held in the city of Oran, which is expected to attract around 3,000 visitors and major companies from around the world. To accommodate all visitors, new hotels are currently being constructed and floating hotels will be used in addition.

Climate

Oran features a semi-arid climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Oran’s climate does show influences of a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

; however the combination of the city’s relatively high average annual temperature and relatively low annual precipitation precludes it from falling under that climate category. Oran averages 326 mm (13 in) of precipitation annually, the bulk of which falls between December and May. Summers are hot and dry with average high temperatures in the warmest month (August) approaching 32 degrees Celsius. Winters are mild in Oran, with high temperatures in the coolest month (January) at around 17 degrees Celsius.

Culture

The folk music Raï
Raï
Raï is a form of folk music that originated in Oran, Algeria from Bedouin shepherds, mixed with Spanish, French, African and Arabic musical forms, which dates back to the 1930s....

 ("opinion" in Arabic), had its beginnings in Oran. This genre of music was formulated by shepherds in the 1930s through Arab and European influences. This music was surrounded by controversy due to women's key role in public performances of the music, as well as the hedonistic lyrics about love and alcohol. This led to strict governmental control in the area which led to arrests, injuries, and assassinations. Many notable Raï musicians (including Cheb Hasni
Cheb Hasni
Cheb Hasni born Hasni Chakroun was a performer of Algerian Raï music. He was popular across North Africa, having reached the height of his career in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was the son of a welder and grew up in a working class family where he was one of seven children...

, Cheb Khaled
Khaled (musician)
Khaled Hadj Ibrahim , better known as Khaled, is a raï singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist born in Sidi El Houari in Oran Province of Algeria...

 and Rachid Taha
Rachid Taha
Rachid Taha is an Algerian singer and activist based in France who has been described as "sonically adventurous." His music is influenced by many different styles such as rock, electronic, punk and raï.-Early life:Taha was born in 1958 in Sig , Algeria, although a second source suggests he was...

) hail from Oran. The violinist Akim el Sikameya was also born in Oran.

Fiction

El Gallardo Español 1615 by Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written...

 and Albert Camus
Albert Camus
Albert Camus was a French author, journalist, and key philosopher of the 20th century. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement, which was opposed to some tendencies of the Surrealist movement of André Breton.Camus was awarded the 1957...

's 1947 novel The Plague
The Plague
The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story of medical workers finding solidarity in their labour as the Algerian city of Oran is swept by a plague. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition...

take place in Oran.

Part of Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez is a Spanish novelist and journalist. He worked as a war correspondent for twenty-one years . His first novel, El húsar, set in the Napoleonic Wars, was released in 1986. He is well known outside Spain for his "Alatriste" series of novels...

's 2006 Capitán Alatriste adventure novel Corsarios de Levante (Pirates of the Levant) takes place in early 17th-century Oran. The action of the book occurs just a few years after the forced expulsion of last Moriscos (Spanish Muslims) from Valencia. There are vivid descriptions of Oran as a sun-blasted North African military stronghold, largely forgotten by the King of Spain and his advisors, whose attention is focused on the wars in the Low Countries and the treasure fleets from the Americas. Fictional hero Capitán Diego Alatriste and his ward Íñigo Balboa find Oran to be manned by an impoverished garrison of Christian Spaniards, living alongside Muslims (some fiercely loyal to Spain), and Sephardic Jews, themselves refugees from the 1492 expulsions ordered by the Catholic Monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabel).

In the movie Casablanca
Casablanca (film)
Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, and featuring Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and Dooley Wilson. Set during World War II, it focuses on a man torn between, in...

, the route for refugees fleeing to the Americas was Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 to Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

, across the Mediterranean to Oran, then by train, auto or foot to Casablanca
Casablanca
Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region.Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb. The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture...

. If they were lucky enough to get an exit visa, they went on to Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 from there.

In the ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 Drama Series Hornblower
Hornblower
Hornblower may refer to:In fiction:*Horatio Hornblower, a fictional officer of the British Royal Navy created by C.S. Forester*A family of hobbits in the works of J.R.R...

 Lieutenant Hornblower is sent by Captain Pellew to Oran in order to obtain supplies, only to discover that Oran is suffering from Bubonic Plague
Bubonic plague
Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis, named after the French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin. Primarily carried by rodents and spread to humans via fleas, the disease is notorious throughout history, due to the unrivaled scale of death...

 and have to spend 3 weeks on board an abandoned supply ship enroute to Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 loaded with the supplies obtained from Oran, as a sort of quarantine
Quarantine
Quarantine is compulsory isolation, typically to contain the spread of something considered dangerous, often but not always disease. The word comes from the Italian quarantena, meaning forty-day period....

.

Paul Bowles
Paul Bowles
Paul Frederic Bowles was an American expatriate composer, author, and translator.Following a cultured middle-class upbringing in New York City, during which he displayed a talent for music and writing, Bowles pursued his education at the University of Virginia before making various trips to Paris...

's 1949 novel The Sheltering Sky
The Sheltering Sky
The Sheltering Sky is a 1949 novel by Paul Bowles. The story centers on Port and Kit Moresby, a married couple originally from New York who travel to the North African desert accompanied by their friend Tunner...

 takes place mainly in Oran.

Districts of Oran

Arabic name and names of the districts of Oran
District Arabic name Name
1    الحمري El Hamri
2    حي الإمام الهواري Hai Imam El-Houari
3    السعادة Es-Saada
4    المقري Al-Maqarri
5    الحمري El-Hamri
6    البدر El-Badr
7    الصديقية Es-Seddikia
8    المنزه El-Menzeh
9    الأمير El-Emir
10    العثمانية El-Othmania
11    بوعمامة Bouamama
12    محي الدين Muhieddine

El Hamri

El Hamri is a large popular district in the center of Oran known under French rule as Lamur. One finds there the football club Mouloudia d'Oran.

Neighborhood Streets
  • Avenue of Lamur
  • Street Captain-Rahou
  • Sebbalet Ayada
  • Place The Sahara
  • Gahwat Ettoubi
  • Street Staoueli
  • Street Djemaa Gazouna
  • street bougandoura
  • street belhadri smain

Sidi El Houari

The historical district is a suburb in the north of the d'Oran city. One finds l ancian Saint-Louis college there, as well as the old mosque of the Pasha dating from the XVIIe century. In this district the skin of Saint-Patron of the city in the name of "Sidi El Houari
Sidi El Houari
Sidi El Houari was an Algerian imam whose real name Ben-Amar El Houari. He died 12 September 1439 at the age of 89. He is the patron saint of the city of Oran in Algeria.The famous old quarter of Sidi El Houari in Oran is named after him....

" rests;. Other tourist curiosities: one ancient prefecture of the data base Stalingrad, the Spanish vestiges dating from 16th century, and especially the Palate of the Bey d'Oran.

Oranian agglomeration


The Oranian metropolis comprises several communes.

Mers-El-Kébir

The Municipality of Mers-El-Kebir is located north-west of Oran, about seven kilometres from the city centre. As its name indicates (The Great Port), it is a major port and has an important naval base, home to the Algerian Navy.

Aïn-El-Turck

Aïn El Turk
Aïn El Turk
Ain el-Turck is a the capital of Ain el-Turck District Located about fifteen kilometers from Oran, which contains nine municipalities...

, whose name means Fountain of the Turks is also located at the North-West of Oran to 15 km of the center. It is a seaside town which includes several hotels and other tourist attractions.

Es-Sénia

Es-Sénia, located in the south of Oran, is home to industrial parks, several university institutes (Oran-Es-Sénia University, Institut of Communication, ENSET "Higher Teacher training school," CRASC "Research center in social sciences," etc.) and the international airport.

Bir-El-Djir

This commune depends on Bir-El-Djir and composes the suburbs Is of Oran (apart from the districts). It is the future c?ur beating Oranian agglomeration. It includes several buildings which are the seats of companies with a modernistic architecture (Sonatrach, in construction), the new CHU "November 1, 1954", the Palate of the Congresses, l University of sciences and technology (conceived by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange (1913–2005)), l'Institut of medical sciences, and the Court of Justice.
This commune is the urban extension to the East of the town of Oran, to 8 km of the center, with a population of 118.000 inhabitants.et the projects: Olympic stage of 50.000 places, its name means Clay Pit.

Misserghin

This is a small peaceful city in the Western extreme of the metropolis, having its fans Misserghin and its Tour operators Misserghin-Tours in order to promote tourism in the radiant and green area of this locality.

Tourism

Oran has numerous hotels in all categories, from luxury to basic, as well as many restaurants offering Algerian specialities and other foods. Tourists will also find a variety of cinemas, arts centres, the regional theatre, an open-air theatre, the Museum, the historic city centre of Oran, the district of Sidi El Houari, the municipal gardens, Médina Djedida with its artisanal products, the cathedral, Djebel Murdjadjo, and nearby seaside resorts. International airport Es-Senia is 7.4 miles from the town centre. One can also reach Oran by ferries from the ports of Marseilles, Sète
Sète
Sète is a commune in the Hérault department in Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France. Its inhabitants are called Sétois....

, Alicante
Alicante
Alicante or Alacant is a city in Spain, the capital of the province of Alicante and of the comarca of Alacantí, in the south of the Valencian Community. It is also a historic Mediterranean port. The population of the city of Alicante proper was 334,418, estimated , ranking as the second-largest...

 and Almería
Almería
Almería is a city in Andalusia, Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the province of the same name.-Toponym:Tradition says that the name Almería stems from the Arabic المرية Al-Mariyya: "The Mirror", comparing it to "The Mirror of the Sea"...

, via the national company Algérie Ferries
Algérie Ferries
Algérie Ferries is an Algerian shipping company. The company operate passenger and freight services between Algeria, France and Spain.-Routes:Algérie Ferries operate eight routes across the Mediterranean Sea.*Oran - Alicante*Oran - Marseille...

.

Transportation

The city has limited means of transport, which do not cover sufficiently the non-urban zones. The entreprise ETO (Company of Oranian Transport) acquired new buses burning coal. There is an extensive network of "clandestine" taxis in the City. Work will start in 2008/9 and will last approximately two to three years, to deliver the first line of the tram in 2010
. It should comprise 31 stations, distributed on 17,7 kilometers going to Es-Sénia, in the South, jusqu'à Sidi Maarouf, with l'Est, while passing by the centre town The tram should serve the locality d'Haï Sabbah, l University of Sciences and Technology (USTO), the Crossroads of the Three Private clinics, the Law courts, Dar El Baïda, the Plate-Saint Michel, the Place of the 1st November, Saint-Anthony, Boulanger, Saint-Hubert, the 3rd Ring road and finally l University Es-Sénia. The Oran Es Senia Airport
Oran Es Sénia Airport
Oran Es Sénia Airport is an airport located 4.7 nm south of Oran, near Es Sénia, in Algeria.-History:During World War II, La Sénia Airport was first used by the French Air Force as a military airfield, first by the Armée de l'Air, and after June 1940, by the Armistice Air Force of the Vichy...

, for domestic and international flights. Oran Es Senia Airport serves both, domestic and international flights, with frequent connections to the capital Algiers, served by the public airline company Air Algerie. The same company also has flights to many French cities (Marseille, Paris, Lyon, etc.) and other European and EMEA cities. The Es Senia Airport also serves passengers from most smaller towns in proximity to Oran (Mostaganem, Arzew, etc.). The airport building is a fairly limited construction and does not operate on a 24-h basis.

International Marathon

Oran held its first international marathon on November 10, 2005. The event, sponsored by Toyota of Algeria, attracted runners from Morocco, Libya, Spain, France, and Kenya. The marathon served to publicize the health benefits of running and to provide a novel form of public entertainment for the city's residents.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Oran is twinned with:
Elche, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

Dakar
Dakar
Dakar is the capital city and largest city of Senegal. It is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula on the Atlantic coast and is the westernmost city on the African mainland...

, Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

 Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 Gdańsk
Gdansk
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay , in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

Sfax
Sfax
Sfax is a city in Tunisia, located southeast of Tunis. The city, founded in AD 849 on the ruins of Taparura and Thaenae, is the capital of the Sfax Governorate , and a Mediterranean port. Sfax has population of 340,000...

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 Zarqa
Zarqa
Az-Zarqāʔ is a city in Jordan located to the northeast of Amman. With a population of more than one million 1000,000. It is the country's second largest city after Amman. Zarqa is the capital of Zarqa Governorate . Its name means "the blue one".- Overview :Zarqa is Jordan's industrial centre, home...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 Oujda
Oujda
Oujda is a city in eastern Morocco with an estimated population of 1 million. The city is located about 15 kilometers west of Algeria and about 60 kilometers south of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the Oriental Region of Morocco and the birthplace of the current Algerian president,...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...


External links

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