mim ou n- A g ene ral v iew o f the h ig h s treet

2. Ti mi mou n C ent ral Mosqu e

moun –The famous Kobbah

4.Timimoun- The Writer in the Town Centre

5.Timimoun- Another view of the high street

6.Timimoun- Town centre and some passers by

7.Timimoun- at the outskirts of the City

IN T HE NA ME O F GOD TH E COM PA SS ION ATE TH E MER CIF UL Subject: Historic Cities of Algeria. *Introduction: 1. TIMIMOUN Once a western tourist had this to say after visiting the whole of Algeria from the northern coast to the southern hot sands of the Sahara: “If ever there was a country whose immensity defied the imagination and offered so much in the way of varied opportunities for tourism, Algeria is it”. Seaside Algiers still manages to have some of the charm of the Cote d'Azur but with the feeling of a modern, bustling city, while the Desert or Sahara (3/4 of the total area of the country) renders men totally cool, calm and nerveless due to the breath-taking tranquillity of the landscape. It would be very important to stress that Algeria has three types of climate: •    Mediterranean varying from West to East with an average summer temperature of 65 degrees. Summer temperatures go over 86 degrees with a temperate climate.

The semi-arid climate in the high plains region where the winter season has often temperatures of about or below zero degrees. And the summer is dry and hot with temperatures of over 86 degrees. •    The Southern regions where the summer is extremely hot with temperatures exceeding 94 degrees, but in the winter there is a mild climate with night temperatures at or below zero. Algeria is often claimed to be the crossroads of three worlds: Mediterranean, Arab- Muslim and African. It also boasts coastline with numerous sandy bays. The interior of the country presents plenty of opportunities for sport and leisure activities, ranging from skiing in the mountains to skiing in the sands of the Sahara It is worth mentioning that Timimoun was a former meeting place of caravans bringing gold, cotton and ivory from the south and cereals and spices from the north. In this town whose predominant colour is ochre, the mosque, the Sudan Door and wall sculptures are popular sights for tourists.

Timimoun is situated in the middle of the Gourrara region which is a part of the Grand Erg Occidental, at a distance of 1250 km south-west of Algiers the Capital. This is one of the most uninhabitable parts of the Sahara due to the incredibly high sand dunes which shift restlessly day after day across the hot sandy planes of the desert. However, despite the regions formidable reputation, Timimoun manages not only survive by to do so in style. Timimoun is situated between palm groves and a salt lake in a little desert oasis. The magnificent sand dunes of the Sahara rise and fall in the distance providing the city with the most picturesque backdrop. The town itself is quite small and can be divided into two sections. The old part is called "ksour" (Small village or Castle) and most of the houses are built of red mud in a style known as "Sudanese Architecture". These homes seem to compete for space, almost climbing on top of one another as they try to gain the highest ground possible. The streets between them are narrow and in true desert fashion are shaded over by large sheets of cloth so that passing pedestrians can have some sort of relief from the blazing sun.

In the newer sections of the town which were built by the French, much of the original Hostel that was once built in this newer section by the French in 1921 is now a cultural centre and a great place to spend a few hours if you are visiting. The most notable feature of this are the “gobbas” or “Kobbas” which are buildings dedicated to the Marabouts or Saints. Another place worth visiting is the palmeraie of Ouled Said (30 km from Timimoun) which has a magnificent view of the traditional techniques of palm-growing as well as Foggara – irrigation system, also the Igzer tavern just in the outskirts of Timimoun is another breath-taking sight. The properties here are enclosed by mud walls which are too high to see over and the shade of the palm trees provides welcome relief. Most visitors to Timimoun use the city as a base for excursions into the uninhabitable Grand Erg Occidental. Timimoun is possibly the definitive Saharan oasis town. It is a very enchanting place, built on the edge of an escarpment with fantastic views over an ancient salt lake to the distant dunes, especially magical on a moonlit night.

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