Oran, a port in Algeria, is on the gulf of the same name, 260 miles west of Algiers. The old Moorish town had attained considerable commercial prosperity, when in 1509 it was captured by the Christians of Spain and made a penal settlement. In 1708 it fell into the hands of the Turks, but was recaptured in 1732 and retained by Spain till the earthquake of 1790, when it was abandoned. It was occupied by the I'rench in 1831, and became the capital of a province. Spaniards still outnumber Frenchmen among the inhabitants. The town is defended by two citadels, and has a cathedral, a mosque, and a military hospital. The harbour is protected by moles of recent construction. Grain and iron ore are exported.