"Mostaganem - A cultural exception in Algeria" Mostaganem by shems71

Mostaganem Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 21 photos


Mostaganem is a port city in and capital of Mostaganem wilaya. The city, founded in the 11th century lies on the Gulf of Arzew, Mediterranean Sea and is 72 km of Oran. It has 130,288 inhabitants as of the 1998 census.

The city was founded in the 11th century as Murustaga but has origins going back to Punic and Roman times, when it had the name Cartenna. In 1516 it was captured by the pirate Barbarossa and became a centre for Mediterranean sea piracy, as well as a commercial port. By 1700, after a period of Spanish rule it had come under Ottoman rule and in 1833 the city was taken by France and a garrison established. Algeria became independent in 1962.

The city is divided in two by a ravine of the river Aïn Sefra, with the modern town to southwest, and the old Muslim city, Tidgit, to the northeast.

Thanks to its strategic position between Algiers and Oran, Mostaganem enjoys some dynamism.

The city is well known in the country as a resort destination, thanks to an important number of long, nice and sandy beaches and its population is multiplied during the summer.

Mostaganem is also known as a cultural center, as it gave birth to many artists, writers, musicians and singers. A brand new theater is under construction and many festivals take place throughout the year, notably Aissawa representations.

One of Algerians' favourite destination

The mid-sized city of Mostaganem sees its population doubled in Summer and gets VERY crowded as thousands of Algerian tourists pour to its beaches. Entire buses of kids from the Sahara or from the inland come to enjoy the fresher coast and the large sandy beaches that Mostaganem offers.

Diverse architecture

Mostaganem, though being a mid-sized city, enjoys a fascinating mix of architectures, from French & Spanish colonial to Turkish, to Arab, Socialo-Soviet and 21st modern architecture.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Wonderful & numerous sandy beaches, great seafood, nice market, Aissawa music, SUN!
  • Cons:Overcrowded in summer
  • In a nutshell:A medium-sized city with more beaches than Marseille, a fishing and cultural center, welcome to Mostaganem!
  • Last visit to Mostaganem: Jun 2011
  • Intro Updated Jun 19, 2012
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