Bougiah (anc. Saldce; Fr. Bougie; Arab. Bujayah), a town of Algeria, capital of the province of Kabylia (created in 1873), beautifully situated in a mountainous region, about 112 m. E. of Algiers, on the W. coast of the gulf of Bou-giah, which extends from Cape Carbon to Cape Cavallo; pop. in 1866, 2,836. On the summit x>f the principal mountain is a French fort, on the site of a former place of pilgrimage, which had earned for the town the title of Little Mecca. There are several other forts, and the town contains churches, mosques, a school, a hospital, an asylum for children, and a number of barracks. The roadstead is the safest on the coast of Algeria, and there is an active trade in oil, grain, wine, oranges, honey, and especially in wax. - The ancient Saldaa was a Roman colony of Mauritania Sitifensis under Augustus, and it was afterward the seat of a bishop. In the 5th century it became the capital of Genseric, king of the Yandals, and in the 8th it fell under Arab domination. As the residence of a powerful caliph it became in the 10th century, under the name of Bujayah, the chief emporium of N. Africa, and retained this prosperity under the subsequent rule of Morocco and of Tunis. An active trade was carried on with Italian merchants, especially with- the Genoese, who erected here many public buildings.
In the 15th century piracy injured the character of the place; and Spanish domination early in the 16th century brought about a decline, which under Turkish rule in the 17th culminated in utter ruin, from which the town has only partially recovered since 1833, when the French gained possession of it. It is the chief seat of trade with E. Kabylia.