The ruins of the ancient town, which superseded Cyrene and Barca as chief place in the province after the 3rd century A.D., are now nearly buried in the sand.
Later, in the First Punic War, Hamilcar Barca was encamped for three years on Hiercte or Pellegrino, but the Roman possession of the city was not disturbed.
After the marriage of his daughter to the caliph, which was celebrated at enormous expense, an arrangement was made giving the Tulunid sovereign the viceroyalty of a region extending from Barca on the west to Hit on the east; but tribute, ordinarily to the amount of 300,000 dinars, was to be sent to the metropolis.
Zohair had been obliged to retreat to Barca (Cyrenaica).
These all lay on the coast, with the exception of Barca and Cyrene, which were situated on the highland now called Jebel Akhdar, a few miles inland.
The northern half of this district, which alone was fertile, was known as Pentapolis from its possession of five considerable cities (1) Hesperides-Berenice (Bengazi), (2) Barca (Merj), (3) Cyrene (Ain Shahat-Grenna), (4) Apollonia (Marsa Susa), (5) Teucheira-Arsinoe (Tocra).
On this account navigation is attended with difficulties and risks between its mouth and Barca d'Alva; but a railway, running for the most part along the right bank, skirts the river during the greater part of its course through Portugal.
The Barca do Inferno, but even in this class he soon introduces.
Of Paradella to Barca d'Alva it flows south-west and forms the frontier between Spain and Portugal for 65 m.