Skikda

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Skikda
سكيكدة
City
Skikda
downtown Skikda
Location of Skikda in the Skikda Province
Location of Skikda in the Skikda Province
Skikda is located in Algeria
Skikda
Skikda
Location within Algeria
Coordinates: 36°52′N 6°54′E / 36.867°N 6.900°E / 36.867; 6.900Coordinates: 36°52′N 6°54′E / 36.867°N 6.900°E / 36.867; 6.900
Country Algeria
Province Skikda
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Population (1998)
 • Total 152,355
Time zone CET (UTC+01)
Postal code 21000

Skikda (Arabic: سكيكدة ‎) is a city in north eastern Algeria and a port on the Gulf of Stora, the ancient Sinus Numidicus. It was known as Philippeville until the end of the Algerian War of Independence in 1962. It is the capital of Skikda Province and Skikda District.

History[edit]

Statue from Skikda's museum

The modern city of Skikda was founded in 1838 by the French on the ruins of an ancient Phoenician city which later flourished as a large Roman city called Rusicade, a Punic word which means "Promontory of fire". In the 5th century, the Roman port was destroyed by the Vandals. The current city was founded by Sylvain Charles Valée, for the French to use as a port. The port was used for Qacentina. During this time, Valee would also build the largest Roman theatre in Algeria. It was built on top of ruins.[1]

On October 10, 1883, there was an earthquake at Philippeville.[2]

Towards the end of World War II, there was a UNRRA refugee camp at Philippeville which was known as Camp Jeanne d'Arc. On January 25, 1945, 200 Jews holding citizenship from countries in North and South America were sent from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to Switzerland as part of a prisoner exchange group. They were later sent to this UNRRA camp in Philippeville, Algeria.[3]

Battle of Philippeville[edit]

An attack by the FLN in 1955 during the war of Independence left around 123 civilians dead, mainly French and those suspected of collaboration.[4] Angered over the massacre of civilians, including women, seniors, and babies, the French escalated their offensive against the FLN. Reprisals by French forces may have killed between 1,200 (according to French sources,) or 12,000 (according to the FLN.)

1989 shipping disaster[edit]

The city has a commercial harbour with a gas and oil terminal. On 15 February 1989 the Dutch tanker the MV Maassluis was anchored just outside the port, waiting to dock the next day at the terminal, when extreme weather broke out. The ship's anchors didn't hold and the ship smashed on the pier-head of the port. The disaster killed 27 of the 29 people on board.[5]

Modern Skikda[edit]

The city has a population of 250,000. Natural gas, oil refining, and petrochemical industries were developed in the 1970s and pipelines have been built for their transportation. The city hall (a neo-moorish style palace) and the railroad station were designed by Le Corbusier.

The official city flag colours are blue and white, the colours of the Mediterranean. The current postal code is 21000. Skikda has the third largest commercial port in Algeria after Algiers and Oran. It has also a petrochemical terminal port and a smaller fishing port in Stora, and there are many beaches along the natural Mediterranean coastline. Тhere is also a closed airport near the petrochemical complex.

Geography[edit]

Skikda lies on the coast of the Gulf of Stora, part of the Mediterranean Sea. The landscape is hilly and forested, with high ridges on both the western and eastern sides of the city.

Climate[edit]

Skikda has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa), with cool, wet winters and very warm, dry summers.

Climate data for Skikda
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 28.9
(84)
31.1
(88)
32.1
(89.8)
35.3
(95.5)
40.0
(104)
44.0
(111.2)
46.8
(116.2)
45.5
(113.9)
45.0
(113)
39.3
(102.7)
30.7
(87.3)
20.1
(68.2)
46.8
(116.2)
Average high °C (°F) 16.1
(61)
16.6
(61.9)
17.5
(63.5)
19.5
(67.1)
22.2
(72)
25.1
(77.2)
28.4
(83.1)
28.9
(84)
27.3
(81.1)
24.3
(75.7)
20.5
(68.9)
17.1
(62.8)
21.96
(71.52)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.0
(53.6)
12.3
(54.1)
13.2
(55.8)
15.1
(59.2)
17.9
(64.2)
21.0
(69.8)
23.9
(75)
24.6
(76.3)
22.9
(73.2)
19.8
(67.6)
16.1
(61)
13.0
(55.4)
17.65
(63.77)
Average low °C (°F) 8.0
(46.4)
7.9
(46.2)
8.8
(47.8)
10.7
(51.3)
13.5
(56.3)
16.7
(62.1)
19.4
(66.9)
20.2
(68.4)
18.5
(65.3)
15.3
(59.5)
11.6
(52.9)
8.9
(48)
13.29
(55.93)
Record low °C (°F) −0.7
(30.7)
0.0
(32)
2.0
(35.6)
2.0
(35.6)
3.0
(37.4)
8.0
(46.4)
10.4
(50.7)
11.0
(51.8)
8.0
(46.4)
2.0
(35.6)
0.0
(32)
−2.6
(27.3)
−2.6
(27.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 115.3
(4.539)
94.0
(3.701)
75.6
(2.976)
60.8
(2.394)
29.9
(1.177)
13.1
(0.516)
2.9
(0.114)
9.7
(0.382)
30.1
(1.185)
75.0
(2.953)
99.2
(3.906)
123.0
(4.843)
728.6
(28.686)
 % humidity 75.1 73.0 72.2 73.8 74.0 72.7 71.6 71.0 73.3 72.2 71.4 73.6 72.83
Source #1: NOAA (1961-1990)[6]
Source #2: climatebase.ru (extremes, humidity)[7]

Economy[edit]

Historically, Skikda is known for its seaport. It was described, in 1911, by Baedeker as having "the youngest Algerian seaport."[1]

Transportation[edit]

Skikda Railway Station

The main road from Skikda is the N3 to El Arrouch, Constantine, Batna, Biskra and Touggourt. Smaller local roads lead to the towns of Stora (to the northwest along the coast), Beni Bechir (to the south), Bissy and Azzabe (to the southeast), and El Mersa and Chetaibi (to the east).

Skikda is the terminus of the Constantine-Skikda railway line. The city is served by Skikda Airport, although this airport is currently unused.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Philippeville, Algeria". World Digital Library. 1899. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  2. ^ "EARTHQUAKE SHOCK IN ALGERIA". New York Times. 1883-10-10. 
  3. ^ source Page at Holocaust database
  4. ^ Ben Abro, Assassination! July 14, University of Nebraska Press (2001), p251
  5. ^ Website Nieuwsdossier on Sinking of Maassluis, retrieved 3 August 2010
  6. ^ "Climate Normals for Skikda". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Skikda, Algeria". Climatebase.ru. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 

External links[edit]