Sites & cities that bear the name of El Kef

El Kef

Today in : Tunisia
First trace of activity : ca. 4th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Sicca, Sicca Veneria, Colonia Julia Cirta, Cirta Nova, Sikka Beneria, Shaqbanariya, الكاف‎, il-kāf, Le Kef

Description : El Kef (Arabic: الكاف‎), also known as Le Kef, is a city in northwestern Tunisia. It serves as the capital of the Kef Governorate. El Kef is situated 175 kilometres (109 mi) to the west of Tunis and some 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of the border between Algeria and Tunisia. It has a population of 45,191 (2004 census). The old town is built on the cliff face of the table-top Jebel Dyr mountain. El Kef was the provisional capital of Tunisia during World War II. It was the command centre of the Front de Libération Nationale during the Algerian War of Independence against the French in the 1950s. The Sidi Bou Makhlouf Mausoleum entombs the patron saint of the city. First known by the name of Sicca during the Carthaginian era, then later Sicca Veneria during the rise of Roman domination, the city has carried numerous names throughout its history: Colonia Julia Cirta, Cirta Nova, Sikka Beneria, Shaqbanariya and finally El Kef since the 16th century. Ancient times El Kef has since ancient times been the principal city of the High-Tell Mountains and of the Tunisian northwest of which it constituted, until recently, the political center, the most important religious center, and the dominant stronghold. In the early 5th century Apiarius of Sicca was a priest here, and instigated a dispute between the churches of Carthage and Rome concerning the jurisdiction of the Bishops of Africa when he appealed to the church of Rome against his excommunication by the church of Carthage. Around 439, invading Vandals conquered the African Romans near the coast. Eventually, El Kef became part of a Berber Kingdom. Umayyad conquest In 688 AD, the city was raided during the Umayyad conquest of North Africa. In the 17th century, a Kasbah of Le Kef was built to house a permanent garrison (ujaq); the construction was completed by the addition of fortified ramparts in 1740. This did not however prevent the taking and pillaging of the city by the Algerians in 1756, nor the occupation by the French military from 1881, following the partial collapse of the Ottoman Empire. On July 8, 1884, the authorities of the new French Protectorate declared El Kef a municipality, one of the first in the country. Contemporary In 1973, there was a summit meeting here between the Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba and the Algerian president Houari Boumédiène. The latter proposed a constitution for a Tunisian-Algerian union which Bourguiba declined in favor of the development of economic cooperation between the two countries.

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