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Biskra

Administration
Full nameBiskra
بسکرة
Settlement typeCommune and city
CountryAlgeria
ProvinceBiskra Province
DistrictBiskra District
Demography
Total Population207987 (2007)
Other information
Time zone+1 (UTC+1)

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Biskra ( ; Berber: Tibeskert) is the capital city of Biskra province, Algeria. In 2007, its population was recorded as 207,987.During Roman times the town was called Vescera, though this may have been simply a Latin transliteration of the native name. Around 200 AD under Septimius Severus' reign, it was seized by the Romans and became part of the province of Numidia. As a major settlement in the border region, it was significant even then. Its name was apparently bowdlerized by the Romans to Ad Piscīnam ("at the piscīna"), implying the presence of important waterworks.

As of 1935, Biskra was an inland town, the principal settlement of a Saharan oasis watered by the intermittent Oued Biskra. It is in the southern part of the Algerian rail system, and a favorite winter resort. Large quantities of fruit, especially dates and olives, were grown in the vicinity. The town was a military post, and was the scene of severe fighting in the rebellions of 1849 and 1871.

With January temperatures averaging 11 °C, Biskra is a common vacation spot in winter. Located in northeastern Algeria on the northern edge of the Sahara Desert, the area surrounding it is very arid and most of the population lives in oasis.


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