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Venue to Chlef

tenesChlef, the capital of Chlef Province, is located in the north of Algeria 200 kilometers west of the capital Algiers. It is the home to the Hassiba Benbouali university, and the basilica of Saint Reparatus, which is the home to the oldest Christian labyrinth in the world and the site of the Roman citadel, Castellum Tingitanum, was known as Al-Asnam (Arabic for “sculptures”) for an area of 600 by 300 meters(2,000 by 980 feet) containing many statues.

During the Roman times, the Chlef Province of Algeria was named Castellum Tingitanum. For the French, the old Roman site was the ideal location to construct a military out post in 1843, which they named Orleansville. It was also the reason that one of the oldest churches in Africa came to be located here. No-one could predict that in 1954, the first earthquake would strike Orleansville, and that it was only a taste of what was to come. Together with celebrating the independence of Algeria in 1964, the city also celebrated the birth of a new name – El Asnam.

In 1980 disaster struck again, with a 7.5 earthquake hitting the city and surrounding areas, in which half of the city was destroyed and approximately five thousand locals lost their lives. To distance the city and the province from this unthinkable tragedy, it was renamed for a last time to Chlef in 1981. Today, visitors will still be able to visit what remains of the Castellum Tingiranum (roman citadel), referred to as Al Asnam. It is a fascinating site as it contains a staggering number of statues. It is also home to the world’s most ancient Christian labyrinths, Saint Reparatus. But mostly, visitors will see endless agricultural landscapes which include dairy farms, fruit orchards and fields filled with barley and wheat. The city is also known for its processing facilities and leather products. Chlef is easy to find and travel to, as it is a vital point on both the rail and roads that run between Oran and Algiers.