Coordinates: 36°45′04″N 05°03′51″E / 36.75111°N 5.06417°E / 36.75111; 5.06417
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Bougie)
Location of Béjaïa, Algeria within Béjaïa Province
Location of Béjaïa, Algeria within Béjaïa Province
Béjaïa is located in Algeria
Location in Algeria
Coordinates: 36°45′04″N 05°03′51″E / 36.75111°N 5.06417°E / 36.75111; 5.06417
Country Algeria
ProvinceBéjaïa Province
DistrictBéjaïa District
 • Total120.22 km2 (46.42 sq mi)
 (2008 census)
 • Total177,988
 • Density1,500/km2 (3,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
Postal code

Béjaïa (/bɪˈdʒə/; French: [beʒaja]; Arabic: بجاية‎, Bijāya, [bid͡ʒaːja]), formerly Bougie and Bugia, is a Mediterranean port city and commune on the Gulf of Béjaïa in Algeria; it is the capital of Béjaïa Province, Kabylia. Béjaïa is the largest principally Kabyle-speaking city in the region of Kabylia, Algeria.


Monkey Peak (Pic des singes).

The town is overlooked by the mountain Yemma Gouraya [fr], whose profile is said to resemble a sleeping woman. Other nearby scenic spots include the Aiguades beach and the Pic des Singes (Peak of the Monkeys); the latter site is a habitat for the endangered Barbary macaque, which prehistorically had a much broader distribution than at present. All three of these geographic features are located in the Gouraya National Park. The Soummam river runs past the town.

Under French rule, it was known under various European names, such as Budschaja in German, Bugia in Italian, and Bougie [buˈʒi] in French. The French and Italian versions, due to the town's wax trade, eventually acquired the metonymic meaning of "candle".[1]


Béjaïa, like most cities along the coast of Algeria, has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa), with very warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

Climate data for Béjaïa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.7
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 16.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.1
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 7.7
Record low °C (°F) −1.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 99.7
Average relative humidity (%) 78.5 77.6 77.9 77.9 79.9 76.9 75.0 74.6 76.4 76.3 75.3 76.0 76.9
Source 1: NOAA (1968-1990)[2]
Source 2: climatebase.ru (extremes, humidity)[3]


Timeline of Béjaïa
Historical affiliations

 Mauretania (27 BC–44 AD)
 Roman Empire (44–395)
 Western Roman Empire (395–430s)
 Vandal Kingdom (430s–534)
 Byzantine Empire (534–674)
 Umayyad Caliphate (674–685)
 Byzantine Empire (685–698)
 Umayyad Caliphate (698–700)
 Jarawa (700–702)
 Umayyad Caliphate (702–741)
 Berbers (741–771)
 Abbasid Caliphate (771–790s)
 Aghlabids (790s–909)
 Fatimid Caliphate (909–977)
 Zirid dynasty (977–1014)
 Hammadid dynasty (1014–1082)
 Almoravid dynasty (1082–1152)
 Almohad Caliphate (1152–1232)
 Hafsid dynasty (1232–1285)
Emirate of Béjaïa (1285–1510)
Hispanic Monarchy (1510–1555)
Ottoman Empire, regency of Algiers (1555–1833)
France, french Algeria (1833-1962)
 Algeria (1962–present)

Antiquity and Byzantine era[edit]

The Western Roman empire in the second century AD during the reign of Hadrian. Saldae can be seen on the south coast of the Mediterranean.

According to Al-Bakri, the bay was first inhabited by Andalusians.[4]

Béjaïa stands on the site of the ancient city of Saldae, a minor port in Carthaginian and Roman times, in an area at first inhabited by Numidian Berbers and founded as a colony for old soldiers by Emperor Augustus. It was an important town and a bishopric in the province of Mauretania Caesariensis, and later Sitifensis.

Coin of the Hafsids, with ornamental Kufic script, from Béjaïa, 1249–1276

In the fifth century, Saldae became the capital of the short-lived Vandal Kingdom of the Germanic Vandals, which lasted for a century until about 533 with the Byzantine conquest, which established an African prefecture and later the Exarchate of Carthage.

Muslim and feudal rulers[edit]

After the 7th-century Muslim conquest, it was refounded as "Béjaïa"; the Hammadid dynasty made it their capital, and it became an important port and centre of culture.

Historic map of Algiers and Béjaïa by Piri Reis

The Casbah of Béjaïa[5] or in French Casbah de Béjaïa [fr] was built by the Almohad Caliphate under the reign of governor Abd al-Mu'min in the middle of the 12th century (around 1154), then rebuilt by the Spaniards when the city was taken in 1510. It was then modified by the Ottomans and the French. The Casbah of Béjaïa played a role in the transmission of knowledge in the Middle Ages, the more or less long stays of scientific and literary personalities, versed in all fields of knowledge. No

According to Muhammad al-Idrisi, the port was, in the 11th century, a market place between Mediterranean merchant ships and caravans coming from the Sahara desert. Christian merchants settled funduqs (or khans) in Bejaïa. The Italian city of Pisa was closely tied to Béjaïa, where it built one of its two permanent consulates in the African continent.[4]

The son of a Pisan merchant (and probably consul), posthumously known as Fibonacci (c. 1170 – c. 1250), there learned about mathematics (which he called "Modus Indorum") and Hindu-Arabic numerals. He introduced modern mathematics into medieval Europe.[6] A mathematical-historical analysis of Fibonacci's context and proximity to Béjaïa, an important exporter of wax in his time, has suggested that it was actually the bee-keepers of Béjaïa and the knowledge of the bee ancestries that truly inspired the Fibonacci sequence rather than the rabbit reproduction model as presented in his famous book Liber Abaci.[7]

In 1315, Ramon Llull was stoned at Béjaïa,[8][9] where, a few years before, Peter Armengaudius (Peter Armengol) is reputed to have been hanged.[9][10]

After a Spanish occupation (1510–55), the city was taken by the Ottoman Empire in the Capture of Béjaïa in 1555. For nearly three centuries, Béjaïa was a stronghold of the Barbary pirates. The city consisted of Arabic-speaking Moors, Moriscos and Jews increased by Jewish refugees from Spain. Berber peoples lived not in the city but the surrounding villages and travelled to the city occasionally for markets.

City landmarks include a 16th-century mosque and a fortress built by the Spanish in 1545.

A picture of the Orientalist painter Maurice Boitel, who painted in the city for a while, can be found in the museum of Béjaïa.

Bordj Moussa

French colonial rule[edit]

It was captured by the French in 1833 and became a part of colonial Algeria. Most of the time it was the seat ('sous-préfecture') of an arrondissement (mid 20th century, 513,000 inhabitants, of whom 20,000 'Bougiates' in the city itself) in the Département of Constantine, until Bougie was promoted to département itself in 1957.

Battle of Béjaïa[edit]

During World War II, Operation Torch landed forces in North Africa, including a battalion of the British Royal West Kent Regiment at Béjaïa on 11 November 1942.

That same day, at 4:40 PM, a German Luftwaffe air raid struck Béjaïa with thirty Ju 88 bombers and torpedo planes. The transports Awatea and Cathay were sunk and the monitor HMS Roberts was damaged. The following day, the anti-aircraft ship SS Tynwald was torpedoed and sank, while the transport Karanja was bombed and destroyed.[11]

Algerian republic[edit]

After Algerian independence, it became the eponymous capital of Béjaïa Province, covering part of the eastern Berber region Kabylia.

Ecclesiastical history[edit]

With the spread of Christianity, Saldae became a bishopric. Its bishop Paschasius was one of the Catholic bishops whom the Arian Vandal king Huneric summoned to Carthage in 484 and then exiled.

Christianity survived the Islamic conquest, the disappearance of the old city of Saldae, and the founding of the new city of Béjaïa. A letter from Pope Gregory VII (1073–1085) exists, addressed to clero et populo Buzee (the clergy and people of Béjaïa), in which he writes of the consecration of a bishop named Servandus for Christian North Africa.[8][9][12]

No longer a residential bishopric, Saldae (v.) is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[13] and still has incumbents by that title (mostly of the lowest (episcopal) rank, some of the intermediary archiepiscopal rank).

Titular see of Bugia[edit]

This titular see was for a long time, alternatively and concurrently with the city's authentic Roman Latin name Saldae (v.), called Bugia, the Italian language form (used in the Roman Curia) of Béjaïa.

The 'modern' form and title, Bugia, seems out of use, after having had the following incumbents, all of the lowest (episcopal) rank:

  • Miguel Morro (1510 – ?), as Auxiliary Bishop of Mallorca (Balearic Spain) (1510 – ?)
  • Fernando de Vera y Zuñiga, Augustinians (O.E.S.A.) (1614.02.17 – 1628.11.13), as Auxiliary Bishop of Badajoz (Spain) (1614.02.17 – 1628.11.13); later Metropolitan Archbishop of Santo Domingo, finally Archbishop-Bishop of Cusco (Peru) (1629.07.16 – death 1638.11.09)
  • François Perez (1687.02.05 – death 1728.09.20), as Apostolic Vicar of Cochin (Vietnam) (1687.02.05 – 1728.09.20)
  • Antonio Mauricio Ribeiro (1824.09.27 – death ?), as Auxiliary Bishop of Évora (Portugal) (1824.09.27 – ?)
  • George Hilary Brown (5 June 1840 until 22 April 1842), as first and only Apostolic Vicar of Lancashire District (England) (1840.06.05 – 1850.09.29), later Titular Bishop of Tlous (1842.04.22 – 1850.09.29), promoted first bishop of successor see Liverpool (1850.09.29 – 1856.01.25)


Carbon Cape Lighthouse
Cap Carbon Lighthouse in 2013
LocationCarbon Cape, Béjaïa, Algeria Edit this at Wikidata
Coordinates36°46′31″N 5°06′11″E / 36.77514°N 5.10306°E / 36.77514; 5.10306
Constructed1906 Edit this on Wikidata
Constructionstone (tower) Edit this on Wikidata
Height14.6 m (48 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
Shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern rising from the keeper's house[14][15][16]
Markingswhite (tower), black (roof) Edit this on Wikidata
OperatorNational Maritime Signaling Office Edit this on Wikidata
Focal height224.1 m (735 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
Range28 nmi (52 km; 32 mi) Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicFl(3) W 20s Edit this on Wikidata

The population of the city in 2008 in the latest census was 177,988.

Historical populations[17]
Year Population
1901 14,600
1906 17,500
1911 10,000
1921 19,400
1926 15,900
1931 25,300
1936 30,700
1948 28,500
1954 43,900
1960 63,000
1966 49,900
1974 104,000
1977 74,000
1987 114,500
1998 144,400
2008 177,988


Maritime front of Béjaïa: a view of its industrial facilities and the airport.

The northern terminus of the Hassi Messaoud oil pipeline from the Sahara, Béjaïa is the principal oil port of the Western Mediterranean. Exports, aside from crude petroleum, include iron, phosphates, wines, dried figs, and plums. The city also has textile and cork industries.[citation needed]

The Béni Mansour-Bejaïa line railroad terminates in Béjaïa. The airport of the city is Abane Ramdane Airport.

Cevital has its head office in the city.[18]

The city's soccer team is JSM Béjaïa and currently plays in the Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 2.

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Béjaïa has an official friendly relationship with:


Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Related people


  1. ^ "Bougie (n)". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 21 May 2024. Retrieved 29 November 2012. Etymology: < French bougie wax candle, < Bougie (Arabic Bijiyah), a town in Algeria which carried on a trade in wax Available online to subscribers
  2. ^ "Climate Normals for Béjaïa". Archived from the original on 21 May 2024. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Béjaïa, Algeria". Climatebase.ru. Archived from the original on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b Bejaia - Algeria Archived 1 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Muslimheritage.com
  5. ^ "Kasbah of Bejaia | Archiqoo". Archived from the original on 21 May 2024. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  6. ^ Stephen Ramsay, Reading Machines: Toward an Algorithmic Criticism, (University of Illinois Press, 2011), 64.
  7. ^ Scott, T.C.; Marketos, P. (March 2014), On the Origin of the Fibonacci Sequence (PDF), MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, archived (PDF) from the original on 18 September 2019, retrieved 25 May 2014
  8. ^ a b Stefano Antonio Morcelli, Africa christiana, Volume I, Brescia 1816, p. 269
  9. ^ a b c H. Jaubert, Anciens évêchés et ruines chrétiennes de la Numidie et de la Sitifienne Archived 29 July 2020 at the Wayback Machine, in Recueil des Notices et Mémoires de la Société archéologique de Constantine, vol. 46, 1913, pp. 127-129
  10. ^ "J. Frank Henderson, "Moslems and the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar. Documentation" (2003), p. 18" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  11. ^ Atkinson 2013.
  12. ^ J. Mesnage, L'Afrique chrétienne Archived 9 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Paris 1912, pp. 8 e 268-269
  13. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 963
  14. ^ "Cap Carbon". Office Nationale de Signalisation Maritime. Ministere des Travaux Publics. Archived from the original on 22 September 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Eastern Algeria". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  17. ^ populstat.info Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Cevital & vous Archived 12 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Cevital. Retrieved on 26 August 2011. "Adresse : Nouveau Qaui Port de -Béjaïa - Algérie"

External links[edit]