TIMGAD – Best Ancient Roman City in ALGERIA
Timgad was a Roman ancient city located in the north of the massif of the Aurès in a mountainous area, 480 km away from south-east of Algiers, Timgad is a perfect example of a Roman military colony that ever created in ancient times. Timgad Built more than 2,000 years ago, by the Roman Emperor Trajan, the Timgad city laid out in great precision and it is one of the best surviving examples of the grid plan used by the ancient Roman city planners.
The Timgad’s original design was a perfect square, 360 meters long on every side, with an orthogonal design highlighted by the decumanusmaximus (east wes oriented street art) and the cardo (north south oriented street art) lined by a partially restored Corinthian colonnade. The initial plan why Timgad built was to provide a shelter for 16000 people, but the Timgad city quickly outgrew that number and spilled beyond the orthogonal grid in a more loosely but organized fashion. The Timgad city grew rapidly for the next hundreds years as new quarters were added to the original architecture plan leading to a quadrupling of the original size.
Throughout centuries, Timgad city enjoyed a peaceful existence. Located precisely at the head of the Oued el-Abiod and a crucial junction, it gave Roman Empire access to control of one of the main passes through the Aurès Mountains, and therefore of access to and from the Sahara Desert. Starting from the 3rd century, Timgad became a center of Christian population and activities. Timgad finally fell into decline after the Vandal invasion at 5th century and the Berbers.
Timgad then revived in the 6th century under the ultimatum of Byzantine Emperor Justinian. A fortress was built outside the original city to protect the city and many blocks from earlier Roman buildings were reused. But Tmgad once again fell due to an Arab invasion in the 7th century. Timgad was finally abandoned in the 8th century. Timgad was forgotten until it was founded and excavated from under the sand in 1881.
Lying under the sand of the Sahara for centuries, Timgad remained founded well preserved. At the west end of the decumanusmaximus still stands a 12 meter high triumphal arch, which called “The Arch of Trajan”, which was partially restored until 1900. There was founded a temple dedicated to Jupiter that approximately have same dimensions as the Pantheon in Rome. A large Byzantine citadel stands to the southeast of the Timgad city. There also founded a 4000-seat theater in a very good condition, a great library, a basilica and four public bath houses.
Pictures of Timgad
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