The breathtaking ruins of Djemila are all that remains of the ancient Roman town of Cuicul. Tucked into the strikingly beautiful Petite Kabylie hills, Djemila is one of the most perfect expressions of the meeting of Roman power and African beauty. Here, more than at almost any other Roman site anywhere else, you come closer to understanding the Roman aesthetic that marries order to beauty. It is, as the French writer Albert Camus observed, ‘a lesson in love and patience’.
Little known outside of Algeria, Djemila is nevertheless one of the great historical wonders of the world. One day, in an Algeria busy with tourists, its name might be uttered with the same sense of awe as Petra in Jordan or even the Great Pyramids of Egypt. For now, though, there is a good chance you will be the only foreign tourist – perhaps the only visitor at all.