Ouargla, Algeria

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Ouargla, Algeria

Region: Ouargla


Geographic Coordinates: 31.950000, 5.316700
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 45.0°C (68°F to 113°F)
Climate: Hot and dry climate with very little rainfall, particularly in the summer months.
Population: 133024
Language: Arabic

Ouargla is a city in southern Algeria, Located in the Saharan region of the country. It is the capital of Ouargla Province and has a population of over 200, 000 people. The city is situated on an oasis and has been an important trading center for centuries. Today, It is known for its beautiful architecture, Rich history and culture. One of the most striking features of Ouargla is its traditional architecture. The city’s old town or medina boasts narrow streets lined with houses made from mud brick and decorated with intricate designs.

Many buildings have balconies or terraces that overlook courtyards filled with palm trees and other vegetation. The Great Mosque of Ouargla is also a must-see attraction; it was built in the 13th century and features stunning geometric patterns on its walls. The oasis surrounding Ouargla provides a unique landscape that contrasts with the surrounding desert. The lush greenery attracts many migratory birds, Making it an ideal spot for birdwatching enthusiasts. Visitors can also enjoy camel rides through the palm groves or explore nearby sand dunes on foot or by four-wheel drive.

Ouargla has a rich cultural heritage that dates back to ancient times when it was part of various empires including Roman, Arab, Turkish and French rule at different times throughout history. This diverse cultural mix can be seen in everything from food to music to art. Local cuisine includes dishes such as couscous (a staple food made from semolina grains), Tagine (a slow-cooked stew) and brik (a pastry filled with meat or vegetables). Traditional music includes popular genres like chaabi (folk music) as well as modern pop songs influenced by Western styles.

The city hosts several annual festivals celebrating local culture such as Moussem des Dattes which focuses on dates harvested from local palm trees; Festival International de la Musique Saharienne which showcases traditional music from the Saharan region and Festival International de la Calligraphie Arabe which celebrates Arabic calligraphy. Ouargla is also home to several museums that showcase the city’s rich history. The Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions displays traditional clothing, Jewelry, Pottery, And other artifacts from different eras. The Museum of Islamic Art features a collection of Islamic art from across North Africa and the Middle East.

Ouargla is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in exploring Algeria’s rich culture and history. With its stunning architecture, Unique landscape, Delicious cuisine, And vibrant cultural scene – there is something for everyone in this beautiful city.



Important Landmarks

  1. Kasbah of Ouargla
  2. El Biodh Mosque
  3. Ain Beida National Park
  4. Tassili n’Ajjer National Park
  5. Museum of the Sahara
  6. Oasis de Sidi Yahia
  7. Fort de la Pointe
  8. Oasis de Tafilelt
  9. Palm grove of El Kantara
  10. Beni Isguen Mosque

Primary Industries

  1. Oil and gas: Ouargla is located in the heart of Algeria’s oil and gas industry, with many oil fields and refineries located nearby.
  2. Agriculture: The region around Ouargla is known for its date palm groves, which produce large quantities of dates each year.
  3. Tourism: Ouargla is home to several historic sites, including the old town of El-Oued and the ancient ksar (fortified village) of Beni-Isguen.
  4. Construction: With a growing population and increasing demand for housing and infrastructure, construction is a major industry in Ouargla.
  5. Retail: As one of the largest cities in southern Algeria, Ouargla has a thriving retail sector that includes both traditional markets and modern shopping centers.
  6. Education: The city is home to several universities and colleges, making education an important industry in the area.
  7. Healthcare: With a large population to serve, healthcare services are also an important part of the local economy in Ouargla.

Noteable History

  1. The city of Ouargla was established by the Banu Hilal tribe in the 11th century.
  2. Ouargla became a significant center for trade and agriculture after being colonized by the French in 1830.
  3. A major battle between Allied forces and German troops took place in Ouargla during World War II, known as the Battle of El Guettar.
  4. Sheikh Sidi Mohamed Ben Aissa, a religious leader who promoted education and Islamic mysticism, lived in Ouargla during the 19th century.
  5. Fatima Zahra Mansouri, a prominent Algerian politician who served as mayor of Marrakech from 2009 to 2015, was born in Ouargla in 1960.
  6. Ahmed Ben Bella was an influential revolutionary and politician who played a crucial role in leading Algeria to independence from France in 1962; he spent time imprisoned near Ouargla at a prison camp run by the French government.
  7. The Musée du Sahara is an essential museum situated downtown that exhibits artifacts from prehistoric times through modern-day life showcasing indigenous people’s history and culture of the region.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Musée du Sahara: This museum displays the history and culture of the Sahara region, featuring traditional clothing, jewelry, pottery, and other artifacts.
  2. Mosquée El Atik: This historical mosque boasts beautiful Islamic architecture and is one of the oldest in Ouargla.
  3. Fort Sidi Abdellah: Built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, this fortress offers breathtaking views of Ouargla from its ramparts.
  4. Palais des Zaouias: Once a residence for local rulers, this palace now serves as a cultural center and museum showcasing traditional crafts and music.
  5. Jardin Botanique de l’Université Kasdi Merbah Ouargla: Featuring a wide variety of desert plants from around the world, this botanical garden is a must-see attraction.
  6. Centre Culturel Ahmed Bouzfour: This cultural center hosts exhibitions, concerts, and other events showcasing local art and music for visitors to enjoy.
  7. Oasis de Touggourt: Just outside of Ouargla lies this oasis known for its date palms and traditional irrigation systems called foggaras.
  8. Tassili n’Ajjer National Park: Although not located within Ouargla itself but in southern Algeria nearby; it features stunning rock formations that date back millions of years making it worth visiting!


Sports Teams

  1. Ouargla is a city in southeastern Algeria that has a strong sporting culture, particularly in football and handball.
  2. The region boasts several football clubs that compete at different levels of the Algerian football league system.
  3. USM El Harrach Ouargla is one of the most notable football clubs from Ouargla, with a long history of success dating back to its founding in 1935.
  4. Despite having won multiple championships and participating in continental competitions, the club was dissolved due to financial difficulties in 2019.
  5. ASO Chlef-Ouargla is another prominent football team from Ouargla that competes in the Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 2.
  6. Founded more recently than USM El Harrach Ouargla, this club has already made a name for itself on the national stage.
  7. In handball, several clubs based in Ouargla compete at regional and national levels.
  8. CRB Ouled Djellal Handball Club is one such club that has won multiple championships at regional level.
  9. While sports teams from Ouargla have had varying degrees of success over time, they remain an important part of promoting sports culture within the region.


Cultural Events

  1. Moussem of Sidi Yahia: This is a religious festival held annually in Ouargla, Algeria to honor the patron saint of the city, Sidi Yahia.
  2. Date Festival: Ouargla is known for its production of dates, and every year in November, the city hosts a festival to celebrate this important crop.
  3. International Festival of Saharan Films: This film festival celebrates cinema from across the Sahara region and attracts filmmakers and movie enthusiasts from around the world.
  4. Traditional Arts and Crafts Fair: This fair showcases traditional crafts from across Algeria, including pottery, weaving, embroidery, and jewelry-making.
  5. National Day Celebrations: On July 5th each year, Algeria celebrates its independence day with parades and other festivities in cities across the country.
  6. Music Festivals: Ouargla hosts several music festivals throughout the year featuring traditional Algerian music as well as international acts.
  7. Cultural Heritage Week: This week-long event celebrates Algerian culture through exhibitions, performances, workshops and other activities showcasing local traditions such as dance, music food etc.,
  8. Oasis Festival : An annual event that aims to promote tourism in Ouargla by highlighting its natural beauty and cultural heritage through various activities like camel racing , folk dance performances etc.,

Cuisine

  • Couscous: A traditional dish made of semolina grains served with vegetables and meat.
  • Merguez: Spicy lamb sausages that are grilled or fried.
  • Brik: A savory pastry filled with egg and tuna or chicken.
  • Mechoui: Roasted lamb served with bread and vegetables.
  • Harira: A hearty soup made of lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices.

Some popular restaurants in Ouargla include:

  • Restaurant El Djazairia: Known for its traditional Algerian dishes such as couscous and tajine.
  • Restaurant La Palmeraie: Offers a variety of Mediterranean cuisine including seafood dishes.
  • Restaurant Le Petit Prince: Serves Algerian specialties like brik and mechoui along with international dishes.
  • Café El Feth : Serves coffee drinks as well as light meals like sandwiches & salads.
  • Restaurant Dar Chouhada : Offers a mix of traditional Algerian & Middle Eastern food.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Park of the 20th August – located in the city center, boasts a range of trees, flowers, and benches that are perfect for relaxation.
    2. Oasis de Sidi Yahia – situated on the outskirts of Ouargla, offers hiking trails where visitors can explore nature while picnicking or birdwatching.
    3. Parc National El Kala – located about 250 km from Ouargla, great for camping and wildlife viewing.
    4. Sports Complex Mohamed Boudiaf – features a football stadium along with facilities for basketball, handball, volleyball, tennis and swimming.
    5. Cultural Center Ibn Khaldoun – hosts various cultural events throughout the year such as concerts and exhibitions.
    6. Cinema Rex – shows both local Algerian films as well as international movies.
    7. Souk El Hadjadj Market – offers an array of local goods including spices, textiles and pottery items making it an interesting place to visit while in Ouargla.

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