Welcome to Bougara, a picturesque town located in the Mitidja plain in Algeria. Situated just 20 kilometers south of Algiers, Bougara offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural charm. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking an authentic Algerian experience, Bougara has something for everyone. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the hidden treasures of this captivating town.
Bougara, formerly known as Rovigo during the French colonial era, holds a significant place in Algeria’s past. The town’s name was changed to honor the Duc de Rovigo, who served as the commander-in-chief of the French army in Algeria from 1831 to 1833. While exploring Bougara, you can catch glimpses of its colonial history through old postcards and documents from that era.
One of the highlights of Bougara is the Hammam-Mélouane, a remarkable thermal springs site located just eight kilometers southwest of the town. Known for its saline waters, the Hammam-Mélouane offers visitors a chance to relax and rejuvenate amidst breathtaking natural surroundings. Don’t miss the opportunity to soak in the therapeutic waters and experience the healing properties of these ancient springs.
If you’re a history buff, a visit to Bougara wouldn’t be complete without exploring its World War II connections. During the autumn of 1943, British Army troops were stationed in Bougara, billeted on French-owned farms. These sites bear witness to the town’s involvement in the war, and you can still sense the echoes of that tumultuous period through the remnants of military infrastructure.
Bougara also holds significance in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 1946, the Haganah, the pre-state Zionist military organization, established a training camp near Bougara. This historical connection adds another layer to the town’s rich tapestry of past events.
As you wander through the streets of Bougara, keep an eye out for the birthplaces of two renowned pied noir writers, Jules Roy and Jean Pélégri. Roy, born in Bougara in 1907, went on to become a prominent liberal writer, while Pélégri, born in Bougara in 1920, left an indelible mark on Algerian literature. The village of Sidi Moussa, located just eight kilometers north of Bougara, is where Roy spent his childhood and where his mother’s grave can be found.
Bougara’s proximity to Algiers makes it an ideal destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Whether you’re strolling through the town’s charming streets, sampling traditional Algerian cuisine, or immersing yourself in its rich history, Bougara promises a memorable experience that will leave you enchanted by its unique character. Pack your bags and get ready to explore this hidden gem in the heart of Algeria.