Thamugadi, also known as Timgad, is a famous archeological site in Algeria. Though in ruins, Timgad tells us about the glory of ancient Roman Empire in Africa. It is the best preserved Roman remains existing in the North African region. These remains were built in the fertile lands in the east of the Algerian town Batna. The city of Timgad was established around 100 A.D. as Colonia Marciana Ulpia Traiana Thamugadi.
Timgad served as military base of Emperor Trajan who established it as a fortified place to safeguard the properties of the retired Roman army men from the Berbers of Aures Mountains, as they were rewarded precious pieces of agricultural lands after their services in this area. Timgad enjoyed prosperity for a long period because of fertile lands and agricultural activities. The entire city was guarded by a wall and was located at the intersection of six roads. At the beginning, the colony inside the wall was established for a population of around 15,000, however the city quickly outgrew and expanded beyond original borders.
In the 4th century it became the center of a heretical Christian movement as the Bishop Optatus made this his cradle. He was a big follower of Donatism.
Timgad was finally destroyed by Montagnards of the Aures at the end of the 5th century. Byzantines later revived Timgad to some extent but it was completely ruined during Arab invasion in the 8th century. The city disappeared from history until its excavation in 1881.
The charming remains of the buildings of Timgad were constructed entirely of stone. The streets were paved with large rectangular limestone slabs that are still visible today.
Today, major attractions for tourists to Timgad are: The Trajan Arch, the Eastern Gate, and the Western Gate under Marcus-Aurelius and the Capitoline Temple which is dedicated to Jupiter.
Timgad was recognized as World Heritage Site by UNSECO is 1982.