The modern city of Skikda was founded in 1838 by the French on the ruins of an ancient Phoenician city which later flourished as a large Roman city called Rusicade, a Punic word which means "Promontory of fire". In the 5th century, the Roman port was destroyed by the Vandals.
On October 10, 1883, there was an earthquake at Philippeville.
Towards the end of World War II, there was a UNRRA refugee camp at Philippeville which was known as Camp Jeanne d'Arc. On January 25, 1945, 200 Jews holding citizenship from countries in North and South America were sent from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to Switzerland as part of a prisoner exchange group. They were later sent to this UNRRA camp in Philippeville, Algeria (source).
An armed uprising in 1955 during the war of Independence left around 123 people dead, mainly French and those suspected of collaboration. Reprisals by French forces may have killed 12,000 Algerians, though French sources put the number at 1,200.
The city had a population of 152,355 in 1998 (census figures). Natural gas, oil refining, and petrochemical industries were developed in the 1970s and pipelines have been built for their transportation. The city hall (a neo-moorish style palace) and the railroad station were designed by the Le Corbusier.
The official city flag colours are blue and white, the colours of the Mediterranean. The current zip code is 21000. The incomes of the Municipality of Skikda are among the highest in North Africa. Skikda has the third largest commercial port in Algeria after Algiers and Oran. It has also a petrochemical terminal port and a smaller fishing port in Stora, and there are many beaches along the natural Mediterranean coastline .Тhere is also a closed airport near the petrochemical complex.