With 1.5 million inhabitants Oran is the second largest city in Algeria. It is located along the Mediterranean sea, about 170km east of the border to Morocco. Oran has a harbour with ferry connections to Spain (Almeria, Alicante). The city doesn't have as much historical heritage as Algiers and Tlemcen, but is pleasant and less chaotic than Algiers and is embedded in a scenic coastline. The historic core is centered around the 1st November square next to the Bey palace. This is a not too hectic area which can be easily explored on foot, starting from the 1st November square and moving south towards the Great Library (the former Sacred Heart Cathedral of Oran).
The highlight of Oran is Santa Cruz, a place on a 400m mountain with a fortress and a church. From here there are great panoramic views of Oran and the bay of Mers el Kebir, where the port of Oran is extending.
Oran was founded in 903 AD by Andalusian muslims and quickly became a flourishing regional trading centre. Between 1238 and 1509 it was ruled by Tlemcen, then by the Spaniards with a short interruption until 1792. The French occupied Oran between 1831 and the Algerian independence in 1962.
How to get to Oran
Oran has an international airport with connections to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It can also be reached by ferry and there are train connections to Algiers. By car it takes four hours to reach Algiers.
Oran has several hotels, many of them bookable via online booking portals.
01 Regional theatre 02 Regional theatre 03 Sidi Brahim monument 04 Sidi Brahim monument 05 Regional theatre
06 First November 1954 square 07 Obelisk bas-relief 08 First November 1954 square
09 White building facade 10 First November 1954 square 11 City Hall 12 City Hall 13 Baghdadi Mohamed street 14 Old town
15 Great library 16 Hamou Boutlelis square 17 Great library 18 Sacred Heart Cathedral of Oran
19 Neoclassical building 20 Compagnie Algerie building 21 Emir AEK boulevard 22 Royal hotel 23 Hotel Royal
24 Royal hotel 25 Palace of the Bey 26 Palace of the Bey
27 Kasbah 28 Kasbah 29 Abdellah Ben Salem mosque
30 Museum of arts 31 Great synagogue of Oran 01 Minaret 02 Minaret 03 Grand mosque
04 Grand mosque 05 Grand mosque 06 Outer wall 07 Colonnade
08 Colonnade 09 Inner court
10 Grand mosque rear view 11 Colonnade and minaret 12 Minaret 13 Colonnade
14 Door 15 Facade detail 16 Facade detail 17 Door 18 Prayer hall
19 Chandelier 20 Dome 01 Santa Cruz fort and church 02 Moula Abdelkader mosque
03 Panoramic view of Algiers 04 Panoramic view of Algiers
05 Santa Cruz fort 06 Santa Cruz church 07 Santa Cruz church
08 Santa Cruz church and Algiers skyline 09 Santa Cruz fort
10 Santa Cruz fort 11 Panoramic view of Algiers
12 Algerian flag 13 Algerian flag 14 Santa Cruz fort 15 Santa Cruz fort
16 Santa Cruz church 17 Santa Cruz church 18 Algiers skyline 19 Santa Cruz church tower
20 Santa Cruz church 01 Ardis shopping mall 02 Tram 03 Tram
04 View towards Mers-el-Kebir 05 Port of Oran
06 Oran harbour 07 Port of Oran 08 Ferry terminal
09 Oran harbour 10 Oran harbour
11 Port of Oran
12 Oran harbour 13 Boston Trader ship 14 Belstar and Emona Valletta ships
15 Green mosque
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©Copyright Alfred Molon