Monday, May 03, 2004

Constantine

Also called (after 1981)  Qacentina , Arabic  Blad el-Hawa , Phoenician  Cirta  city, northeast Algeria. A natural fortress, the city occupies a rocky, diamond-shaped plateau that is surrounded, except at the southwest, by a precipitous gorge through the eastern side of which flows the Rhumel River. The plateau is 2,130 feet (650 m) above sea level and from 500 to 1,000 feet (150 to 300 m) above the riverbed in the gorge. The cliffs of the gorge, at its narrowest, are 15 feet (4.5 m) apart and

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