Visit the North-Eastern Algerian Town of Sétif

Located on the high plateaus of north-eastern Algeria, the town of Sétif is the capital of the Sétif Province, known to be one of the coldest regions in the country. It is not uncommon for the town to experience snow in the winter months, while summer temperatures can occasionally reach 40 degrees centigrade. Sétif is the home base of one of Algeria’s most prestigious top division football clubs, Entente Sportive Sétifienne, more commonly referred to as ES Sétif, and the town has a number of attractions worth visiting.

The amusement park in Sétif is arguably the most popular attraction in the city, particularly in the summer months. Set in a wide open space featuring landscaped gardens with pathways and benches, cafés and trading kiosks, the Parc d’Attractions boasts a large lake for boating, a big wheel, dodgems, a pirate boat, swings, carousel and other thrilling rides and games to keep visitors entertained.

Another interesting attraction in the town is the fountain known as Aïn Fouara, featuring the superbly carved statue of a unclothed young girl which was created in 1898 by legendary French sculptor Francis of St Vidal, also referred to as St Francis Vidal. A local contractor set up the fountain consisting of a large square stone block with spouts on four sides, a column with lights on top, and the statue of the young girl seated and leaning against the column. While public nudity is uncommon in Algeria, the statue is considered a cultural treasure in the town, so when it was damaged by an explosion in April 1997, it was soon restored and remains a popular attraction.

Sétif’s history goes back to Roman times, during the reign of Emperor Nerva between 96 and 98 AD. Parts of a cemetery were uncovered in the 1960s and a small section of the Roman circus built in the settlement remains visible, but as no attempts were made to preserve these historical treasures, the development of the town has destroyed them.