When the Scotsman James Bruce discovered, in 1765, a Roman triumphal arch hidden in the sands of Algeria, he did not realize that it was on top of the ruins of the largest Roman city in North Africa: ancient Thamugadi, now called Timgad. In the year 100, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan, the general Lucius Munácio Gallus founded the Marciana Colony Trajan de Thamugadi, destined to increase the area of dominion, influence and business of the Roman Empire in that region, and to provide protection for the routes trade and for the inhabitants of the region against the attacks of the nomads coming from the south.
WHY THIS PLACE
Over the years, the colony developed into a typical and structured Roman city, with taverns, shops, a forum and a large theater, which was used for many years as a venue for shows from all over the Mediterranean. By the fourth century, the city had become one of the headquarters of the Donatists, a “Christian” group that did not accept interference from the emperors of Rome in Church affairs.
Despite the passage of time and Arab and Berber invasions, Timgad has remained in good condition and in 1982 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.