Commune and town
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This city has existed since Roman times. In antiquity, its name was Uzalis while its current name comes from its founder in the Middle Ages: Ali El Balight. There are still some Roman ruins scattered throughout the city.
The population is largely composed of descendants of Andalusians who fled Spain after the Christian reconquest. Andalusian architecture has left its mark on the ancient city situated at the top of the hill (Djebel H'kima). The new city developed in the plains surrounding the ancient city. Monuments such as the Great Mosque and some mausoleums survived the modernization of the city, the walls and gates surrounding the old city having been destroyed at the beginning of the 20th century.