Annaba, which was called Hippo Regius during Roman times, was probably established by the Phoenicians in the 12th century BC. It was a centre of early Christianity. Augustine of Hippo was bishop here from 396 until 430. The city has Christian, Muslim, and Roman buildings.
Today (2003), Annaba has about half a million inhabitants. The economy is diversified. It is Algeria's main port for mineral exports.