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Tipaza ruins bridging sea & sky

Published Jul 10, 2023
Updated Jul 10, 2023

A few kilometers away from the “white city” of Algiers lies on the shore of the Mediterranean the
ruins of the ancient city Tipaza.
Originally funded by the Phoenicians, then a Carthaginian city, it was conquered by the Romans after
the Punic wars and later became one of the cradles of Christianity in north Africa. Alike Timgad, the
city was destroyed by the Vandals in the 5th century, rebuilt by the Byzantines and then demolished
by the Umayyad.
The ruins of Tipaza plunge deep into the sea and are both a celebration to nature and a reminder
that all civilizations are doomed to a definite demise but ironically also to eternity. Hence Tipaza is
mostly an ode to life and infinity and a genuine source of romantic inspiration that Albert Camus
immortalized in one of the books of the series Nuptials (les Noces) where he portraits his infinite love
for Algeria.
Strolling through the ruins of the city, you get the feeling that only the columns stand between the
deep blue of the sea and the infinite blue of the sky, the whole giving you the sense of nature
mingling with history that Camus would depict with these beautiful words:
“Tipasa is inhabited by the gods and that the gods speak in the sun, the sea armored with
silver, in the raw blue sky over the ruins, and it’s easy to believe the gods still live here”
Strolling by the hedge of the cliff, you then discover, a bit to the side of the site, a rock stella
dedicated to Albert Camus where it is engraved: “Here, I understand this thing they call glory: the
right to love without measure.”
Walking through Tipaza you can easily picture Camus strolling by the ruins of the Basilica holding the
hands of his girlfriend both enjoying a moment of eternity and communion between the past, the
present and future.
In all, if “Nostalgia” was to be a city it would be called “Tipaza”.

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