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Sidi Bel Abbès (Arabic: سيدي بلعباس‎) is a capital (2005 pop. 200,000)[1] of the Sidi Bel Abbès wilaya (2005 pop. 590,000), Algeria. It is named after a Muslim holy man who is buried there.[1] It is the commercial center of an important area of vineyards, market gardens, orchards, and grain fields. It is surrounded by a wall with four gates and there is a university there. Sidi Bel Abbès is 75 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea.

It is well connected to other Algerian cities by roads and railroads. Oran is 70 kilometers north and Tlemcen is 90 kilometers west of Sidi Bel Abbès. The closest airport is in Oran.[1]

Contents

History

The city, on the Wadi Mékerra River, developed around a French camp built in 1849[1] . From 1931 until 1961, the city was the "holy city" or spiritual home of the French Foreign Legion, the location of its basic training camp, and the headquarters of its 1st Foreign Regiment.

In the 1930s much of the old city walls were demolished. Wide boulevards and squares replaced the traditional quarters.

Economy

The economy centers on agriculture, particularly the production of cereals such as wheat and barley and the grape industry. A farm machine manufacturing complex is located there.[1]

Famous Natives of Sidi Bel Abbès

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Sidi Bel Abbes, lexicorient.com (Encyclopaedia of the Orient), internet article.







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