February 19, 2009
Bridges from Algeria
The city of Constantine situated in the north of Algeria is characterized by a particular geography. Based on a huge rock separated in its middle by the Rhummel River, it conceals numerous bridges that were built to connect both parts of the city. As well their particular aspect, these bridges are real art works.
The bridge of Sidi M'cid (10,00 Dinars): named also the suspension bridge, it was conceived the French engineer, Ferdinand Arnaudin. Inagurated on April 19th, 1912 in aim to connect the Kasbah to the new hospital and to the War Memorial, it was constructed in iron and cast, measuring 164 meters long and dominating the Rhummel River on 175 meters above the stream. Wide of 5 meters 70, it bears the load of 17 tons. Down from Sidi M'cid, the sight is wonderful and extended far off towards the gorges of the city and the Hamma valey.
The bridge of Sidi Rached (15,00 Dinars): The works of constructing this bridge were lauched in 1907 by Boisnier, a specialist of the big bridges. The bridge of Sidi Rached is a huge and impressive accumulation of rock wrapping the south of the city. Established on 27 arc of dressed stone among which a principal arc of 70 meters of opening and 105 meters high, it was during its building one of the biggest stony bridges in the world. Measuring 447 meters long and 12 meters wide, it allows to lie the city centre with the district of the station and gives access to the road going out southward. With its ornamental construction, the bridge of Sidi Rached symbolized majestically the city on postcards.
El Kantara Bridge (20.00 Dinars): The bridge named El Kantara constitutes the main access road to the city. During the year 1185 all the bridges built by the Roman were destroyed, however, only the bridge of El Katara was reconditioned. In 1304, the same bridge was demolished again to be restored in 1792. Further to the passage of an infantry detachment, El Kantara collapsed on March 18th, 1857. But it was reconstructed in 1864 to connect the old rock city, as Constantine was called, and the national street to the road of Mansourah. The bridge of El Kantara was a bow of cast iron measuring 128 meters in length and raised 125 meters upright and dominating the Rhummel valey.
The bridge of the Medersa (38.00 Dinars): this bridge built between 1917 and 1925 is reserved to the pedestrians. It measures 125 meters of lenght and 2 meters 40 of wide. It connects the district of the station with the city centre via the flight of the stairs or the elvator of the Medersa (school) situated in the middle road of the bridge of Sidi Rached and that of El Kantara. The bridge of the Medersa, ex Perregaux, named at present the bridge Mellah Slimane, reflects the technique of suspension bridges and it is a model of Sidi M'cid Bridge. During the year 2002, this bridge was subjected to a big operation of refubishment.
Stamp Issue: 2008-11-26