Algeria’s Timgad Ruins

What do a city built in the second century A.D., archeological adventurers and city planners have in common; the ancient city of Timgad. This ancient city that was built by the Romans using the grid plan (the streets are set at a right angle to one another) that is now in use in almost every major city in the world. It also boasts some of the best preserved examples of Roman architecture that were built by the emperor Trajan.

Around 100 A.D the city of Timgad (Thamugas by the Romans) was founded and built for members of the Roman army who performed rightly in their duties and were thus granted land for the years of service. The town possessed the modern conveniences of the day. A library, 4 bath houses and open-air theater are still in remarkable shape. As one walks the land today the grid plan of six intersecting roads are still visible.

In the 7th century the town was destroyed by the Berbers and over time became buried by the Saharan sands and because of this some of the ruins are still in extraordinary preservation. When visiting Timgad, you can still see the bath houses, library and Trajan’s Triumphal Arch still holds the entrance for the adventurous wanderer. The theater is still in such good shape that performances are still held there.

As with all adventure travel through areas of great ruin preservation, proceed with care and caution. Remember this area is part of the Saharan desert and the elements can change in a hurry. Best to hire a guide and of course bring plenty of water while you travel back to a time that still makes every city planner proud of their profession.