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Tinas / ⵜⵏⵙ
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)

Ténès (Berber: Tinas; 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.


Ruins in Ténès

Ténès is an ancient Berber town which has existed since the 8th century BC. It was called Kartenas at that time. Ténès or Kartenas was first a Berber and then a Phoenician city. It was later dominated by the Romans. In the last years of the 1st century BC, the town 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 Umayyad Caliphate for a short period. Under Islamic Umayyad rule, Ténès was an independent monarchy. The Sultan Hamid El Abd was the last ruler of the monarchy of Ténès. After the Berbers removed the Umayyad occupation during the Great Berber Revolt, the Kharijite Islam religion was spread in the city and later Shia Islam dominated during the Fatimids rule. The city was conquered by the Sunni Muslim Berber empire of the Almohad Caliphate coming from present-day Morocco.

The Ottoman Empire attacked Ténès, 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-Atiqa (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 Moorish states in Spain.

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


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 with many others.

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  1. ^ [1]

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