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Arabic: qālma

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Guelma, Algeria

Hammam Meskoutine near Guelma, Algeria

City in northeastern Algeria with 130,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), near the seasonal river Wadi Seybouse.
It is the capital of Guelma province with 480,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 4,101 km².
Guelma's economy is based mainly upon local agriculture, for which it serves as a market, especially dealing with cattle. There are also some small-scale industries producing chinaware, bicycles, motorcycles and small motors.
Guelma is well-connected to other urban centres by rail and road. Annaba is 65 km northeast and Constantine 105 km west.
Guelma is still very much a French town with wide streets flanked by trees. To the south lies the kasbah and to the west the Arab quarters. There are also Roman ruins with baths and a theatre, and parts of the Byzantine city walls.
20 km to the west lies the spa of Hammam Meskhoutine which has some of the hottest waters in the world, up to 98 C.

1st millennium: Known as Calama.
1836: A new town is established by the French serving as a French military base.

By Tore Kjeilen