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within the Chlef wilaya
within the Chlef wilaya
Coordinates: 36°30′44″N 1°18′16″E / 36.51222°N 1.30444°E / 36.51222; 1.30444Coordinates: 36°30′44″N 1°18′16″E / 36.51222°N 1.30444°E / 36.51222; 1.30444
 • Total 101 km2 (39 sq mi)
Elevation 779 m (2,556 ft)
Population (2008)
 • Total 35,459
 • Density 350/km2 (910/sq mi)
Ruins in Ténès

Ténès (Arabic: تنس‎) is an Algerian town located about 200 kilometers west of the capital Algiers; it has a population of 35,000 people, as of 2000.


Ténès is an ancient town which has existed since the 8th century BC. It was called Kartenas at that time. Ténès or Kartenas was first a Phoenician town then it was dominated by the Romans. In the last years of the 1st century BC, it was called Cartennae colonia or simply Cartennas by emperor Augustus. The Romans occupied the city for about five centuries.

Later the town was conquered by the Arabs who preached Islam in North Africa. Under Arab rule, Ténès was an independent monarchy. The Sultan Hamid El Abd was the last ruler of the monarchy of Ténès. The Ottomans attacked Ténès and defeated its army and annexed it to their vast empire in 1512. From that time Ténès lost its fame and importance and became an isolated town. Ténès Al-Atika (old-Ténès or the lighthouse of Sufism) was built by the Moors who escaped from Spanish persecution in the 15th century after the collapse of the Arab States in Spain.

In 1843, Ténès was occupied by the French who declared it a township and rebuilt the ancient Cartenna some 2 km to the north of Ténès-al-Atika.


At the present time Ténès is a small tourist town with five small hotels, two hospitals, a local museum, a port and a lighthouse. It has some antique sites such as the Phoenician and Roman tombs, the prehistoric caves in Sidi Merouane, the Great Mosque of Sidi Ahmed Boumaza[1] (built some 11 centuries ago), Bab El Bahr, Notre Dame de Ténès, The French cannons along many others.

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  1. ^ [1]

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