Oran (Arabic: وهران, Wahrān; Berber: ⵡⴻⵀⵔⴰⵏ) is an important coastal city that is located in the north-west of Algeria. It is considered the second most important city after the capital Algiers, due to its commercial, industrial, and cultural importance. It is 432 km (268 mi) far from Algiers. The total population of the city was 759,645 in 2008 (2008), while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest city in Algeria.
The name "Wahran" (Oran in Arabic) is derived from the Berber word "uharan" (two lions).
Legend says that in 900 AD, lions still lived in the area. The last two lions were hunted on a mountain near Oran and are elsewhere referred to as "mountain lions".
During the Roman empire, a small settlement called Unica Colonia existed in the area of current Oran. but this settlement disappeared after the Arab conquest of the Maghreb.
Present-day Oran was founded in 903 by Moorish Andalusi traders. It was captured by the Castilians under Cardinal Cisneros in 1509, Spanish sovereignty lasted until 1708, when the city was conquered by the Ottomans. Spain recaptured the city in 1732. However, its value as a trading post had decreased greatly, so King Charles IV sold the city to the Turks in 1792. Ottoman rule lasted until 1831, when it fell to the French.