UNESCO World Heritage Site, archeological ruins, Batna, Algeria
Just outside the town of Batna, the ruins of a once thriving city lie quietly at the feet of the Saharan desert. The sands of time have washed over the fallen city, preserving most of the buildings in perfect condition, with other structures surviving the weather conditions, one century at a time. This magnificent attraction and historical site is known as Timgad, and in 1983 UNESCO recognized this jewel in Algeria, as a World Heritage Site. Walking through the pathways of the Roman city transports visitors back in time and gives them a glimpse into Roman architecture and design style.
Looking into the history of the area, it is easy to understand why the Romans chose to build Timgad here. There was more than enough water flowing to the city from the mountains and the fertile land gave farmers large landscapes to work on. But as the centuries passed, the land was exploited, trees were removed and the water soon dried up, leaving Timgad to rest amidst the sands of the unforgiving Sahara. The theatre is still sometimes used today, and significant features that rise up above the sand include the Corinthian colonnade, Trajan’s Arch (triumphal arch), Capitoline Temple, basilica and library. The city was completely abandoned by the seventh century, and was rediscovered in 1881. Visiting Timgad is a wonderful opportunity to explore the influence of the Roman Empire on Algeria, and the magnificent historical wonders they left behind.