Saturday, April 14, 2018

Constantine's Ancient Treasures Algeria

Travel like the new dawn is filled with opportunities to discover ourselves our ability to adapt and our integrity in building relationships and accepting another's point of view. Visiting Algeria leads to discovering thousands of years of treasure.  This Greek roman-style Villa is a landmark that emerged in 1852.

The Phoenicians are accredited for spreading the Phoenician alphabet throughout the Mediterranean world. As major sea traders it seems they went everywhere. Lybic, Punic, Greek & Latin are the languages of finding these funeral stones.

The stones talk about numidian professionals such as the soldier, merchant and Carpenter.  Even Bacchus the Roman god of wine makes an appearance.

Constantine was once the Berber capital of the kingdom of  Numidia from 40 BC - 202 DC. As you walk through this museum there is so much to see and learn. Passing a crown of an ancient Roman goddess leads us to Faustine, a 14th century Roman Empress, involved in charities for the poor and backing education of Roman children particularly girls.

Poor Claudius a popular Roman emperor whose undoing was his taste in women.

The Cirta Museum is arranged from prehistoric times to the Muslim period.  The coins themshelves tell so many stories as far back as king Massinissa.   There's even a coin representing the god Poseidon. An astrology lab from the 9th century of Hegire.  Turning the corner you'll see a bust of eternal youthfulness of Juno.

The Great Hall features mosaics and paintings Les Fumeurs de Kiff & others of the French and Oriental schools representing daily life and sites in Constantine in the 19th and 20th centuries it even has ancient manuscripts of diverse human sciences.

Mosaics are center stage in the large Hall and the Triumph of Venus is astounding. There's a bronze statue of Victory unearthed in the Casbah. Constantine has been mentioned as far back as 320 so if you miss this your missing a 1000 of years of history and this view.

The Square of Bachir Bennacer is home to a Convention center there was an exhibit for women that day.  Loved the dresses displayed from several regions and including regions that represented the Berber Culture and Constantine traditions.  Seriously wow the traditional pastries for weddings and events.  Ingenuity with fountains made of recycled copper and outstanding craftsmanship.  The honey distributor I love listening and watching him describe his products and their uses.

The tram was built by an Italian construction company it takes you along side the main historic Mosque and through 5.5 miles of the city from the old town over the slope of the red Rhumel,  Paso university area and the modern city. There are 11 stations,  3 have Tram buses and taxi available. Also go by two viaducts and has an underpass for urban traffic it's a great way to get a feel of the city.

The Emir Abdelkader Mosque, With minarets at 107 meters high it can be seen from many different vantage points throughout the city.  the concept started as a simple mosque that would hold 10,000 worshipers. Don't know how that could ever have been simple its completion is a masterpiece and one of the largest mosque in the world that can accommodate 15,000 worshipers inside and an additional 10,000 and it's unfolding courtyard.

Conceived in 1968, inaugurated in 1994; it was crafted by Algerian, Egyptian and Moroccan architects it is astounding.

From Surah the Jinn it says: "the places of worship all only for God, so pray not unto anyone along with God." Similar to angels that Jinn are spiritual beings invisible to the naked eye.  Understanding others requires the compassion to walk in their shoes.

It takes your breath away surroundings that relax your mind and sooth your senses. This mosque includes includes the University of Islamic science famous for many accomplished scientists. All under a cupola of 64 meters.

The culture palace of Malek Heddah an Algerian author and poet is where the community gathers. In his book, The Misfortune in Danger he said: "Poet, my friend, let us make our hearts intelligent and give our hearts intelligence."  Intelligence is what radiates inward and outward here. Today there is an exhibition for women with wedding preparations, handmade Berber articles for the home. Designers who make the dresses for the wearer. Even doll clothes. I love the furniture displays.
And wow "sweet secrets"  desserts are magically scrumptious.

On many days are in the public library upstairs you'll find students hard at work studying for exams and today the balconies are filled with an art exhibit.  Anytime you're here you're want to stop in to see what's unfolding. 

Art is everywhere even a pizza shop. But when you step into the Palace of Ahem Bey
. . . Once the headquarters of French army. Now with Algeria's freedom from the French it's enjoyed by all as it was intended.  The Palace of Ahmad Bay, is the home of the last ruler of the Ottoman empire. One who took a fierce stand against the French occupation forces. Some of the treasures here include a mile-long mural depicting travels throughout the middle East. The national museum will inspire even the most cynical observer. Created by the most skilled engineers of the 1800's it is filled with wonder.

This is a place where your imagination is free and filled with flights of Fancy likened to A 1001 Arabian Nights, its a collection of ancient and medieval Arabic, Greek, Berber, Jewish, Persian and Turkish folklore and literature. Whose influences linger throughout this  palace.

There are 540 doors made of cedar wood with intricate designs, secret tunnels and rooms; complemented by ancient gardens. It's inspiring and filled with hope as it takes all your cares away.
It's preserved in time for generations to come. 

Artisians of Copper
When you stop by this place you might even get in a game of dominoes.  Algerian copper has been produced in Constantine since the middle ages for the home and decoration.

While it might sound loud to you if you're watching the TV show, there's something magical about being here in real time the sounds are mesmerizing. You'll be struck by awe over the craftsmanship.  The sounds drift away as you realize the traditions here have gone on and on through generations from fathers to sons. Patterns and shapes materializing trace the rich heritage of his ancient city with influences from the Roman, Ottoman, Berber and Islamic cultures.

18,000 Craftsman are registered in Constantine's craft and jobs chamber; and their stories will fascinate you and you'll be sure to leave with a treasured copper piece that Constantine is famous for.

Schools of learning
Constantine is also known as being a Mecca's knowledge the University of Constantine number three is a campus of 7 universities in one covering architecture economy medicine law technology language of biology and everywhere you find people willing to share their knowledge with you.

Women's day 2018 at the Marriott in Constantine Algeria is luxury. Often misunderstood - this is a culture where women are revered, respected and educated they have amazing jobs in architecture as electricians, lawyers and yes they drive and celebrate with gusto they even have men do the grocery shopping.

The dancing is beautiful it reminds me of the flappers in America or Ginger Rogers daring, classy & alluring style.  Not everyone likes their picture taken for a variety of reasons so always ask especially women.  After the party the Marriott has its own incredible views the Roman ruins in the distance and cityscape.

Constantine, Algeria continues to rebuild and it is one of the few debt free countries in the world. One that runs on cash not credit. You'll find good people and warm welcomes, all of its histories and mysteries are clues from the past and a reminder of a quote by author, Malek Haddad "that discord never arises from misunderstanding; but from ignorance and disrespect."

Travel cures all of that - wishing you blue skies and new discoveries until next time keep asking questions!  See the whole show here on youtube.

Just a lady who loves to travel and experience the world first hand.  Denise-Marie  
Share some magic with Harry & David