Biskra

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Biskra
بسکرة
City
Biskra skyline
Biskra skyline
DZ-07 Biskra.svg
Biskra is located in Algeria
Biskra
Biskra
Location in Algeria
Coordinates: 34°51′N 5°44′E / 34.850°N 5.733°E / 34.850; 5.733
Country  Algeria
Province Biskra Province
District Biskra District
Area
 • Total 127.55 km2 (49.25 sq mi)
Elevation 87 m (285 ft)
Population (2007)
 • Total 307,987
 • Density 2,400/km2 (6,300/sq mi)
Time zone +1 (UTC+1)
Postal code 07000

Coordinates: 34°51′N 5°44′E / 34.850°N 5.733°E / 34.850; 5.733 Biskra (Arabic: بسكرة ‎; Berber: Biskra in Tifinagh.svg Tibeskert) is the capital city of Biskra province, Algeria. In 2007, its population was recorded as 307,987.

History[edit]

Dancer in Biskra, published in March 1917 National Geographic.

During Roman times the town was called Vescera,[1] though this may have been simply a Latin transliteration of the native name. Around 200 AD under Septimius Severus' reign, it was seized by the Romans and became part of the province of Numidia. As a major settlement in the border region, it was significant even then. Its name was apparently bowdlerized by the Romans to Ad Piscīnam ("at the piscīna"), implying the presence of important waterworks.[1]

In 1844, Biskra became a French garrison.[2] As of 1935, Biskra was an inland town, the principal settlement of a Saharan oasis watered by the intermittent Oued Biskra. In 1911, it was described as the Nice, France of Algiers.[1] It is in the southern part of the Algerian rail system, and a favourite winter resort. Large quantities of fruit, especially dates and olives, were grown in the vicinity.[1] The town was a military post, and was the scene of severe fighting in the rebellions of 1849 and 1871.

City Hall of Biskra, with the modern coat of arms visible at center-right

With January temperatures averaging 11 °C, Biskra is a common holiday spot in winter. Located in northeastern Algeria on the northern edge of the Sahara Desert, the area surrounding it is very arid and most of the population lives in oasis.

In culture[edit]

Biskra is the setting of key sections of André Gide's 1902 novel The Immoralist and lesser known 1897 prose-poem Les nourritures terrestres (The Fruits of the Earth), and he visited the town in 1895 (for a fortnight from 31 January) with Lord Alfred Douglas, following a meeting with Oscar Wilde in Blida and Algiers.

The Hungarian composer Béla Bartók collected traditional music in Biskra in 1913.

Diana Mayo, protagonist of Edith Maude Hull's popular 1919 novel The Sheik, starts her journey into the desert from Biskra.

Population[edit]

Historical population
Year Population[3]
1901 7,500
1911 20,000
1926 22,000
1931 18,900
1936 21,300
1948 36,400
1954 52,500
1966 59,300
1977 77,000 (town)
90,500 (municipality)
1987 128,300
1998 177,600
2010 300,000

Climate[edit]

Biskra has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh), with very hot summers and mild winters. Summers are dry, and the town's light rainfall of 129 millimetres (5.1 in) is spread fairly evenly over the rest of the year.

Climate data for Biskra
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 26.0
(78.8)
36.2
(97.2)
36.0
(96.8)
38.5
(101.3)
45.3
(113.5)
47.0
(116.6)
48.4
(119.1)
47.4
(117.3)
44.4
(111.9)
40.5
(104.9)
36.0
(96.8)
30.6
(87.1)
48.4
(119.1)
Average high °C (°F) 16.7
(62.1)
19.1
(66.4)
22.6
(72.7)
26.1
(79)
31.3
(88.3)
37
(99)
40.2
(104.4)
39.6
(103.3)
34.3
(93.7)
28.3
(82.9)
21.6
(70.9)
17.5
(63.5)
27.86
(82.18)
Daily mean °C (°F) 11.8
(53.2)
13.7
(56.7)
16.4
(61.5)
19.9
(67.8)
24.8
(76.6)
29.9
(85.8)
33.2
(91.8)
32.8
(91)
28.2
(82.8)
22.3
(72.1)
16.3
(61.3)
12.5
(54.5)
21.82
(71.26)
Average low °C (°F) 6.9
(44.4)
8.6
(47.5)
11.4
(52.5)
14.6
(58.3)
19.4
(66.9)
24.3
(75.7)
27.4
(81.3)
27.3
(81.1)
23.2
(73.8)
17.9
(64.2)
12.1
(53.8)
8.1
(46.6)
16.77
(62.18)
Record low °C (°F) −5.0
(23)
−0.5
(31.1)
1.3
(34.3)
3.0
(37.4)
7.0
(44.6)
11.0
(51.8)
16.1
(61)
15.1
(59.2)
11.0
(51.8)
9.0
(48.2)
0.5
(32.9)
−1.0
(30.2)
−5
(23)
Precipitation mm (inches) 17.4
(0.685)
10.2
(0.402)
13.6
(0.535)
13.1
(0.516)
11.1
(0.437)
5.1
(0.201)
1.7
(0.067)
5.7
(0.224)
10.4
(0.409)
11.3
(0.445)
20.1
(0.791)
9.1
(0.358)
128.8
(5.07)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 3.7 3.2 3.5 3.3 2.8 2.3 0.6 1.6 3.2 3.8 3.8 3.7 35.5
 % humidity 58.0 49.7 43.7 40.5 34.8 29.3 26.5 30.1 41.3 48.1 55.0 60.7 43.14
Source #1: WMO[4]
Source #2: NOAA (mean temperatures, 1965-1990),[5] climatebase.ru (extremes, humidity)[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Street in the Old Town, I, Biskra, Algeria". World Digital Library. 1899. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  2. ^ "Market, Biskra, Algeria". World Digital Library. 1899. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  3. ^ populstat.info
  4. ^ "Weather Information for Biskra". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Climate Normals for Biskra". Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Biskra,Algeria". Climatebase.ru. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 

External links[edit]