The Natural Arch, Constantine, Algeria


This photochrome print from Constantine (present-day Qacentina), Algeria, is part of “Views of People and Sites in Algeria” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). It features one of the vast natural limestone arches over the ravines that border the city, which “present a most impressive scene, especially during the melting of the snow or after heavy rain.” The town is described in the 1911 edition of Baedeker’s The Mediterranean, seaports and searoutes: Handbook for Travellers as “typically Berber in its difficulty of access,” since it “lies on a chalky limestone plateau, descending…to the Ravine of the Rhumel.” The plateau is the focus of the city, and “the chief centres of trade and manufacture are still the native quarters, resembling the Kasba of Algiers, the picturesque charm of which has so far been marred by the construction of but a few new streets.” The Rhumel is traversed by three bridges, accompanied by the ruins of a Roman bridge and aqueduct.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Detroit Photographic Company, Detroit, Michigan

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Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color


  • The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This innovative process was applied to the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The firm became the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.
  • Print no. "6275".

Last updated: February 12, 2016