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Dellys (Arabic: دلّس‎, Berber: Delles) is a small Mediterranean town in northern Algeria's coastal Boumerdès Province, almost due north of Tizi-Ouzou and just east of the river Sebaou.

Dellys

دلس
Delles (Berber)
City and Common
Dellys
Dellys
Motto(s): 
"From the people, for the people"
Location of Dellys in Boumerdès Province
Location of Dellys in Boumerdès Province
Dellys is located in Algeria
Dellys
Dellys
Location of Dellys in Algeria
Coordinates: 36°54′48″N 3°54′51″E / 36.913272°N 3.914094°E / 36.913272; 3.914094Coordinates: 36°54′48″N 3°54′51″E / 36.913272°N 3.914094°E / 36.913272; 3.914094
Country Algeria
ProvinceBoumerdès Province
DistrictDellys District
APC2012-2017
Government
 • TypeMunicipality
 • MayorRabah Zerouali (RND)
Area
 • Total2,504 sq mi (64,86 km2)
Population
 (2008)
 • Total32,954[1]
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
Postal code
35100
ISO 3166 codeCP
WebsiteOfficial website
Cap Bengut Lighthouse
Phares de Cap Bengut.JPG
The three lighthouses at Cape Bengut
Dellys is located in Algeria
Dellys
Algeria
LocationCap Bengut
Dellys
Boumerdès Province
Algeria
Coordinates36°55′20.32″N 3°53′35.76″E / 36.9223111°N 3.8932667°E / 36.9223111; 3.8932667
Year first constructed1881 (first)
2004 (second)
Year first lit2010 (current)
Deactivated2003 (first)
2010 (second)
Constructionmasonry tower (first)
metal skeletal tower (second)
concrete tower (current)
Tower shapequadrangular tower with balcony and lantern (first)
triangular skeletal tower with balcony and light (second)
octagonal prism tower with four buttresses with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternwhite tower, green lantern dome (first)
red tower with a white band atop (second)
unpainted white concrete, grey metallic lantern (current)
Tower height29 metres (95 ft) (first)
20 metres (66 ft) (second)
28.9 metres (95 ft) (current)
Focal height63 metres (207 ft)
Range30 nautical miles (56 km; 35 mi)[2]
CharacteristicFl (4) W 15s.[2]
Admiralty numberE6592
NGA number22360
ARLHS numberALG-005
Algeria numberDZ-2700[3]
Managing agentOffice Nationale de Signalisation Maritime

It is notable for its Ottoman-era Casbah, two colonial-era lighthouses (marking Cape Bengut), and some beaches; the principal activities of the area are fishing and farming.

As of 2008, the population of the municipality is 32,954.[4]

GeographyEdit

The Dellys area presents a natural harbour in the form of a small bay sheltered on the west and northwest by the peninsula of Sidi Abdelkader (largely occupied by the town cemetery, along with a small lighthouse). This peninsula is the seaward extension of the mountain of Assouaf, looming over the town. Around this harbour grew the Casbah of Dellys. During the colonial period the town grew southwards, as the port was expanded; a technical school, the Ecole des arts et métiers, was also built to the north, near the cemetery. Expansion further up the mountain was prevented by the preservation of the Bou-Arbi forest; instead, the town's growth after independence in 1962 was mainly concentrated in two "wings" on each side of it.

To the south, former agricultural areas on the mountain slopes were built up with apartment buildings to form the new suburb Nouvelle-Ville, still surrounded by farmland on both sides. To the west, the relatively level Ladjenna (or "Les Jardins") area, with rocky coasts, consisted mainly of family gardens and small farms until the mid-twentieth century, but is now largely built up. It includes the tiny fishing port of El-Kouss; Cape Bengut, the northernmost land in the region, marked by a larger lighthouse; and the rock promontory of Sid El-Medjni. Further west, the village of Takdempt, at the mouth of the Sebaou river, remains marginally separated from Dellys proper.

The daira has a total of 678 hectares of forest, most of it accounted for by Bou-Arbi above the old town (74 hectares, Aleppo pine), Assouaf above the Ladjennna suburb (50 hectares, thuya and degraded maquis), Achtoub (290 hectares, brush), and an area around Takdempt (250 hectares, brush).[5]

DemographicsEdit

Historical population[6]
Year Population
1901 14,000
1926 17,000
1954 21,600
1966 10,300
1987 29,700
16,100 (municipality)
1998 19,500 (municipality)

HistoryEdit

The Dellys area has been inhabited since prehistoric times; archeological finds in the area include Iberomaurusian remains, a Neolithic polished axe, and (at Takdempt) some dolmens and covered alleys[7]. It first entered written history as the Phoenician colony of Rusucurru or Rusuccuru.[8], known to the Greeks as Rhousoukkórrou (Greek: ῾Ρουσουκκόρρου).[9]

The town's regional importance in the Roman province of Mauretania Caesariensis was sufficient that inscriptions in the nearest towns, Iomnium to the east (modern Tigzirt) and Cissi to the west (modern Djinet), were dedicated to Rusucurru's genius loci[10]. With the advent of Christianity, it became a suffragan bishopric, variously known as Rusucurium,[9] Rusucurrum, and Rhusuncorae; it was the birthplace of the Christian martyr Marciana. It survived Firmus' revolt in 373-375, but disappears from written sources during later centuries.

Under the name of Tedelles, the town reappears in the 12th century as the final refuge of the last Banu Sumadih emir of Almeria in Spain, Mu'izz ud-Dawla ibn Sumadih, who was granted land there by the Hammadid dynasty after fleeing the advance of the Almoravids. After a period of prosperity, it was hard hit by the wars of the 14th century between the Hafsid, Merinid, and Zayyanid kingdoms, changing hands no less than 12 times between 1285 and 1373. After 1438 the town came under the rule of the Thaaliba family of Algiers.

With the arrival of Oruç and Hayreddin Barbarossa in the 16th century, Dellys became part of the Ottoman Empire; they initially made the town their eastern headquarters[11]. The Casbah of Dellys in its current form dates back in large part to this period.

In 1830, France occupied Algiers; it occupied Dellys over a decade later, in 1844. A European quarter was built immediately south of the Casbah. Algeria became independent in 1962; during the following decades, the town grew substantially.

The 2003 Boumerdès earthquake caused significant damage, notably to the Casbah and Nouvelle-Ville[12]. In September 2007, a suicide car bomb attack on the naval barracks in the port, claimed by Al-Qaeda, took at least 30 lives.[13]

Ecclesiastical historyEdit

In Roman times, Rusuccuru became an episcopal see. The names of a few of its bishops are known:[14]

  • Fortunatus (mentioned in 411)
  • Optatus (a Donatist mentioned in 411)
  • Ninellus (mentioned in 419)
  • Metcum (mentioned in 484)

No longer a residential see, the bishopric of Rusuccuru is included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.[15] In Latin the titular bishopric is known as Rusuccurrensis.

The Ancient diocese was nominally restored in 1933 and so far has had the following incumbents, all Latin (Roman Rite) and of the lowest (episcopal) rank[16]:

TransportEdit

Dellys is connected to the rest of the country through two main roads: RN 24, a coastal road leading to Algiers in the west (via Djinet) and Bejaia in the east (via Aafir and Tigzirt), and RN 25, providing a southward connection via Baghlia to Tizi-Ouzou.[17]

From 1894 to ca. 1935, a railway line connected Dellys to Mirabeau (modern Draâ Ben Khedda).[18]

SportsEdit

As elsewhere in Algeria, football (soccer) is popular; Dellys-born footballers include Abderrahman Ibrir, former manager of the Algerian national team, and Rachid Nadji, a striker for MC Oran. The local team is the Union sportive de Dellys (USD). The town is equipped with a stadium capable of holding up to 7,000 people.[19][circular reference]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ ONS Statistic (Boumerdès province) Archived 2013-03-13 at WebCite
  2. ^ a b List of Lights, Pub. 113: The West Coasts of Europe and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Azovskoye More (Sea of Azov) (PDF). List of Lights. United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2015.
  3. ^ "Algeria". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Commune de Dellys : Forêts
  6. ^ populstat.info Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Laporte, J.-P. (1995). "Dellys". Encyclopédie berbère, vol. 15. Edisud. pp. 2255–2261.
  8. ^ Entry Rusucurru, in: The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical sites. Stillwell, Richard. MacDonald, William L. McAlister, Marian Holland. Princeton, N.J. Princeton University Press. 1976. [2]
  9. ^ a b Picard, G. Ch. (1965), "Rusucurru", Enciclopedia dell'Arte Antica. (in Italian)
  10. ^ Laporte 1995
  11. ^ http://openarchive.icomos.org/1383/1/Dellys.pdf , p. 17.
  12. ^ LE SÉISME DU 21 MAI 2003 EN ALGÉRIE : Rapport préliminaire de la mission AFPS, p. 11
  13. ^ Al-Qaeda claims Algerian bombings retrieved September 10, 2007
  14. ^ Stefano Antonio Morcelli, Africa christiana, Volume I, Brescia 1816, p. 268
  15. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 961
  16. ^ GigaCatholic, with titular incumbent biography links
  17. ^ Atlas Routier de l'Algérie : Wilaya de Boumerdès
  18. ^ Le chemin de fer sur route Dellys-Boghni - Truchi
  19. ^ fr:Stade de Dellys

ReferencesEdit

  • Dellys aux mille temps. Collection Histoire et patrimoine. By Yasmina Chaid-Saoudi. Éditions Dar El Waai, 2010. ISBN 9947862550.
  • Dellys : petite monographie locale. By M.A. Visbecq. L. Chaix fils & Cie (Alger), 1926.
  • الأنفاس الأخيرة للأندلس الصغيرة ( مدينة دلـس) (The last gasps of Little Andalusia: The town of Dellys]. By Amer Chaabani. El Manhal, 2013.