Welcome to Oran, a vibrant coastal city located in the north-west of Algeria. Known as the second most important city of Algeria after the capital Algiers, Oran is a hub of commercial, industrial, and cultural activity. With a population of approximately 1.5 million people, Oran is a bustling metropolis that offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Oran’s name comes from the Berber expression wa – iharan, which means ‘place of lions.’ According to local legend, Barbary lions were once sighted in the area, and the last two lions were killed on a mountain near Oran, which became known as la montagne des lions (The Mountain of Lions). Today, two giant lion statues stand in front of Oran’s city hall, symbolizing the city’s rich history and culture.

Oran has a fascinating history that dates back to the Roman Empire. During this time, a small settlement called Unica Colonia existed in the area of the current Oran, but this settlement disappeared after the Arab conquest of the Maghreb. Present-day Oran was founded in 903 by the azdaja and ajissa Berbers of the Maghrawa confederation who lived in the area and eventually founded the modern city of Oran. The city enjoyed a period of prosperity under the Almohad Caliph Abd al-Mumin, who built thirty vessels to connect it with Andalusia. It endured a long, prosperous reign under the zayyanid of Tlemcen and used its ports as a key outlet to Spain in particular.

Oran has also been shaped by its colonial past. Under French rule during the 19th and 20th centuries, Oran was the capital of a département of the same name (number 92). In July 1940, the British navy shelled French warships in the port after they refused a British ultimatum to surrender; this action was taken to ensure the fleet would not fall into German hands, as the Nazis had defeated France and occupied Paris. The action increased the hatred of the Vichy regime for Britain but convinced the world that the British would fight alone against Nazi Germany and its allies. The Vichy government held Oran during World War II until its capture by the Allies in late 1942, during Operation Torch.

Today, Oran is a major port and a commercial center, and has three universities. The old quarter of Oran has a casbah and an 18th-century mosque. The modern section of Oran is referred to as La Ville Nouvelle and was built after 1831; this section contrasts with the older section, La Blanca. Oran is also home to a large historical and popular district called Medina Jedida, which was one of the Muslim quarters during the French colonial period. In this district, there is one of the biggest markets in the city.

Oran’s climate features a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk/BSh). Oran averages 326 mm (13 in) of precipitation annually, the bulk of which falls between November and May. Summers are the warmest times of the year, with average high temperatures in the warmest month (August) approaching 32 degrees Celsius. Winters are the coolest times of the year in Oran, with high temperatures in the coolest month (January) at around 17 degrees Celsius.

Oran is a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or natural beauty, Oran has it all. Come and experience the magic of this enchanting destination for yourself!

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