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Ouargla, town and oasis, E Algeria. It is the administrative center of a well-watered oasis at the junction of several Saharan desert caravan routes. Ouargla lies in the heart of a palm grove numbering more than 500,000 productive trees. The Hassi Messaoud oil fields are nearby as well as natural gas deposits. The oasis was settled c.A.D. 1000 by Muslims of the Kharijite sect, who were fleeing religious persecution. It became a small city-state which, from the 16th cent., paid tribute to the Turks. The town was conquered by French forces in 1853. It has a museum of Sahara desert life. An alternate spelling is Wargla.

Ouargla (Arabic: وَرڤلة ) is a capital city of Ouargla province, southern Algeria. It is home to a flourishing oil industry, as well as one of Algeria's universities. The city had a population of 129,402 in 1998 (census figures).

the city used to be a nice tourist attraction, with many choosing to shop for sand roses at the old rock market (souk l'ehjar). the market used to host many traditional shops filled with traditional antiquities, from dresses to stuffed lizzards. the area opposite the shops was used to display sand roses of all sizes and shapes. the troubled times during the nineties brought a halt to that. the market has gone through a renovation process, which robbed it of its authenticity. it is now a cement block hosting many shops that still sell traditional clothes and accessories, but there is little sign of the old sand roses.

not too far from "souk l'ehjar" is the old groceries market or the Sunday market as the local people call it. it is located in the centre of the old city, la kasbah. at its centre lays the original old market, shaped as a circle split into small archs. this is used nowadays as a meat market. around this circular structure, the rows of grocerers and farmers sit in stalls displaying their produce of all sorts of fruits and vegetables.

next door to the sook lie to the two oldest mosques of the city,"al-masjid al-atiq" which literally means the old mosque and the old ibadhi mosque. the old mosque is still home to one of the most knowledgeable islamic scholars of the city, taleb et-tayeb. it is also the central religious authority for the local people of the old city.

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