Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Bône

BÔNE, Bona, Bounah, Beled-el-A'neb (the town of jujubes), or Annaba, a fortified town and seaport of Algeria, in the province of Constantine, 85 miles N.E. of the city of that name, on a bay of the same name at the mouth of the Seybouse, in lat. 36° 54′ N. and long. 7° 47′ E. The town is surrounded with a modern rampart erected outside of the old Arab wall, the compass of which was found too small for its growth. In other respects also it has been greatly Europeanized; much of the old town has been demolished, and the ground occupied by new buildings. The streets are wide and well laid out, but in some instances are very steep, owing to the formation of the ground. All the ordinary conveniences of a flourishing French city are met with,—bazaars, markets, coffee-houses, hotels, reading-rooms, a bank, a theatre, barracks, hospitals, an orphan asylum, and schools of various kinds. There is also a cathedral dedicated to St Augustine, as well as other Roman Catholic churches, a nunnery for sisters of mercy, handsome mosques, a synagogue, and a Protestant church. Bône is an important seat of the coral fishery, and carries on a considerable trade, the exports consisting chiefly of iron and lead ore, corn, coral, cattle and sheep, olive oil, salt fish, and tobacco. The manufactures comprise native garments, tapestry, leather, and saddles, and of late its soap has come into repute. In 1872 there entered the port 461 French vessels, with a tonnage of 187,415 tons, and 506 foreign ships with a tonnage of 40,822. The anchorage was long insecure; but about 1870 a harbour, with an area of 195 acres, was constructed by means of two breakwaters, and an inner basin, surrounded with masonry quays, and having an extent of nearly 25 acres. The marshes at the mouth of the river have also been drained by a system of canals, to the great improvement of the sanitary condition of the town, which has the further advantage of an abundant supply of water obtained from the neighbouring hills. There are cork-woods and marble-quarries in the vicinity, and various other resources of the surrounding country are being rapidly developed. The woods, however, suffered severely from a conflagration in 1873; and it will be many years before the production of cork can become as extensive as before. The port will be rendered still more important by the railway in course of construction to various inland towns. Bône is identified with the ancient Aphrodisium, the seaport of Hippo Regius or Ubbo, but it derives its name from the latter city, the ruins of which, consisting principally of large cisterns, and part of the Roman walls, are still to be found about a mile to the south of the town. Hippo, the bishopric of Augustine, was burnt by the Vandals in 430, partially restored by Belisarius, and again sacked by the Arabs in the 7th century. The latter conquerors built the city of Bona, or Annaba, which has since passed through many vicissitudes. From the beginning of the 14th to the middle of the 15th century it was frequented by Italians and Spaniards, and in the 16th it was held for some time by Charles V., who strengthened its Casbah or citadel, originally built in 1300. From the time of Louis XIV. to the Revolution the French Compagnie d’Afrique maintained a very active trade with the port. The town was finally captured by the French in 1832, and its citadel was defended by a small body of marines for some months against the Turks. Population in 1872, 16,196, about half of whom are European; in 1832 it was only 3000 or 4000.