The past is always alluring and history is the witness that our forefathers were much ahead of their time. Be it the modern-day drainage system in Harappan civilization, to the tenets of modern democracy from the Roman empire. There is just so much to learn from them. As excavation teams unearth hidden cities around the world, we get an insight into their lifestyles and their brilliant scientific minds. One such city is a well-kept secret of Algeria. This is a 2000-year-old Roman City that has modern grid designs.
What’s In It?
Located in Algeria, 35 kilometres east from the city of Batna, is the 2000-year-old Roman city of Timgad. Built by the Roman Emperor Trajan this city is one the best surviving examples of the grid plans used by the Roman city planners. This city has also been recognized by the World UNESCO heritage site. This is done as it’s surprisingly well preserved. The name Timgad is derived from the ethnic name of the place. Thamugadi, meaning ‘the peaks’. This city was built as a military colony and intended to serve as a bastion against the people of nearby Aures mountains.
This city enjoyed a peaceful existence for several hundred years. But from the 3rd century, this city saw many changes in its religious and political scenario. And finally at the end of the 5th century, the town was destroyed by Montagnards (people of the mountain) of the Aurès. After the 7th century AD, no further settlements were found on this site which helped preserve this city under the depths of sand.
It was later in 1790 that the Scottish Explorer James Bruce visited this site and later published a book called the ‘Travels to Discover the Source of The Nile’, In this book he describes the modern architecture of Timgad. It has been found that the original Roman grid plan is brilliantly visible in the entire city. This walled city is located at the crossing of six roads. Originally designed for a population of around 15,000, this city quickly outgrew its original specifications. Did you know an Algerian Man With Expired Visa Swam To Australia But Ended Up In Indonesia?
From the entrance, there is a path that leads to the museum which was closed for years for the general public. From the museum, another path leads northwest to the Great Baths in the North. A major highlight of Timgad is a 3,500-seat theatre. This was used for contemporary productions and other vital areas. The buildings also include four thermae, a library, a basilica and a temple dedicated to Jupiter. This ruined city of Algeria is a treasure trove for every history lover looking to connect with their past and we just hope after this pandemic, we can go and visit this place up close.