Paper presented at the XXXIII IAHS World Congress on Housing, 27-30 September 2005,"Transforming Housing Environments through Design", University of Pretoria.
During preceding works on the history of the town of Annaba, we had to observe some situations which appear paradoxical; the situation of the various military barracks through the city poses the problems of the logic of their establishment. Their size, importance and role do not give us sufficient indications on the logic of this establishment. This town was of great importance as the chief town of the military area and more like a citadel city from Rome then a garrison town at the time of the French colonial period: Constantine. It is only in 1916, that one can speak about the end of the conquest of Algeria. These three quarters of a century (1827/1916) were accompanied by achievements of all kinds. In its policy of war, France saw itself obliged to reinforce its armies to keep the places taken and to advance its conquest. It was thus forced to build military buildings to shelter its armies and to ensure the logistics of the conquest. French colonization, like many others, proceeded in three great phases: • conquest • Safety, stability and settlement • Repression before and especially during the war of liberation. These phases materialized differently in time and space: • The military constructions distributed in the city according to the policy and needs' for the moment (Standard and strategic site of the military buildings, etc.) • The generated urban actions, then, were imperative to satisfy the order and the capacity soldiers (bored through the médina, dimensions of the streets, etc.) • 19 th century civil constructions and those of the beginning of the 20 th century were aimed at meeting military needs (use of the géni-soldier, etc.); but subsequently also met civil needs.
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