Oran is a coastal city that is located in the north-west of Algeria. It is considered the second most important city of Algeria after the capital Algiers, due to its commercial, industrial, and cultural importance. It is 432 km (268 mi) from Algiers. The total population of the city was 759,645 in 2008, while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000 making it the second largest city in Algeria.
The name "Wahran" (Oran in Arabic) is derived from the Berber word "uharan" that means "two lions".
A legend says that in 900 AD, lions still lived in the area. The last two lions were hunted on a mountain near Oran and are elsewhere referred to as "mountain lions".