LA CALLE, a seaport of Algeria, in the arrondissement of Bona, department of Constantine, 56 m. by rail E. of Bona and 10 m. W. of the Tunisian frontier. It is the centre of the Algerian and Tunisian coral fisheries and has an extensive industry in the curing of sardines; but the harbour is small and exposed to the N.E. and W. winds. The old fortified town, now almost abandoned, is built on a rocky peninsula about 400 yds. long, connected with the mainland by a bank of sand. Since the occupation of La Calle by the French in 1836 a new town has grown up along the coast. Pop. (1906) of the town, 2774; of the commune, 4612.
La Calle from the times of its earliest records in the 10th century has been the residence of coral merchants. In the 16th century exclusive privileges of fishing for coral were granted by the dey of Algiers to the French, who first established themselves on a bay to the westward of La Calle, naming their settlement Bastion de France; many ruins still exist of this town. In 1677 they moved their headquarters to La Calle. The company Compagnie d'Afrique who owned the concession for the fishery was suppressed in 1798 on the outbreak of war between France and Algeria. In 1806 the British consul-general at Algiers obtained the right to occupy Bona and La Calle for an annual rent of 11,000; but though the money was paid for several years no practical effect was given to the agreement. The French regained possession in 1817, were expelled during the wars of 1827, when La Calle was burnt, but returned and rebuilt the place in 1836. The boats engaged in the fishery were mainly Italian, but the imposition, during the last quarter of the 19th century, of heavy taxes on all save French boats drove the foreign vessels away. For some years the industry was abandoned, but was restarted on a small scale in 1903.
See Abbe Poiret, Voyage en Barbarie . . . (Paris, 1789); E. Broughton, Six Years' Residence in Algiers (London, 1839) and Sir R. L. Playfair, Travels in the Footsteps of Bruce (London, 1877).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)