Posted by: Rasma R | May 13, 2017

Algiers, Algeria

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Algiers is the capital and the largest city in Algeria. It offers visitors a wonderful mix of the old and the new.

Stitched Panorama

Rights in the heart of the city you’ll find the ancient Casbah. This old part of the city is a great place to explore with steep and narrow streets. You can see amazing Ottoman palaces. This is a traditional neighborhood which suffered some of the most turbulent fighting during the Battle of Algiers. If you prefer you can hire a guide to take you around the old town.

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The National Museum of Antiquities displays a collection of antiquities from sites around the city and all through Algeria. You can see fine ivory carvings and large, totemic Libyan-period warriors on horseback. You will also find a collection of Islamic art from across the Maghreb.

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The city’s grandest mansion carries the name of its original owner, Dar Hassan Pacha. The building is home to a collection of illuminated manuscripts and contemporary calligraphy by artists from North Africa and the Middle East.

Around 1791 the ruler of Algiers, Hassan Pacha began building the palace on the edge of the Casbah. Once Algiers fell to the French the house became the governor’s winter residence. It was given a European-style front with large windows and balconies.

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Bardo Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography offers visitors a look into the prehistory of Algeria and is one of the best museums in Algiers. The collection includes videos, models , diagrams and information panels. It informs how climate and environment of the region have changed and affected human and wildlife development.

Leaving the museum go up the tiled steps to the “Summer Palace”. This is an Ottoman-era palace with courtyards, fountains and sub-tropical gardens.

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Palais des Rais is actually a row of several large waterfront houses that have been joined to form a single compound. It is now home to the Centre des Arts et de la Culture which offer great art and photographic exhibitions as well as performing arts.

The main building dates from 1750 and was completed around 1798. It was occupied by the French military for awhile, then served as the American consulate, a school and a library.

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The Grande Poste this is Algier’s main post office and a great example of French-designed early 20th century Moorish architecture. At present it can only be seen from the outside while it is being turned into a museum. It will reopen in 2018.

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Leaving the Grande Poste take a walk along Rue Didouche Mourad which is one of Algier’s main shopping strips. It is right in the center of the city with plenty of small shops and restaurants.

Some of the landmarks along this street are the Grande Poste, the Faculty of Algiers and the park of Galland. It is a tree-lined street where you can enjoy sitting at a cafe and doing some people watching. One of its biggest draws in the Haussmann-style architecture.

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The Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions is located in the Casbah. It has found its home in an Ottoman-period town house, the Dar Khedaoudj el-Amia. This museum offers visitors an impressive collection of traditional Algerian arts and crafts.

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The mosque Djemaa Ketchaoua has a most turbulent history. It was built sometime around the beginning of the 17th century. The name of the mosque translates as place or plateau of goats. It comes from the time that the place where the mosque sits between the port and citadel at one time was open ground. It is quite impressive with its high steps, three-tiered minarets and part-tiled walls.

To the left of the great doors is a plaque that says on July 5, 1830 a cross was placed on top of the mosque, beginning over 130 years of French occupation. At this time the mosque served as the city’s cathedral. Emperor Napoleon  III went to Mass here in 1860 and the composer Saint-Saens played the organ here in 1873. On July 5, 1962 it was re-consecrated as a mosque.

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Djemaa el-Kebir is Algier’s Grand Mosque. It was built on a rise above the inner port where early Berber and Phoenician inhabitants built a place for prayer. The Romans turned this into a temple and later it was converted into a Christian basilica. In the 11th century it was all torn down and replaced by the mosque.

Inside the five doors the prayer hall is supported by rows of columns. In all there are 72 columns and it contains a cedarwood minbar with the inscription that the mihrab, the niche indicates the direction of Mecca and was constructed in 1097 AD. The minaret is 15 m high and has an inscription saying to contemplate its beauty and the magnificence of its crowns. It is open to non-Muslims outside of prayer time.

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One of the most recognizable landmarks in the city is the Makam Echahid, celebrating the sacrifice of the unknown martyr who fell for his country. The monument was constructed by Canadians in the early 1980s. It consists of three massive concrete palm fronds that come together and rise up 92 m into the sky. They represent the coming together of agriculture, culture and industry, making independent Algeria great.

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Just below the base of the monument is the Musee National du Moudiahid. The surrounding open plaza hosts concerts, events, exhibitions or children’s fairs.

The Musee National du Moudjahid collects, preserves and displays objects that reflects the struggle against colonialism. You can learn about the French invasion in 1830, but the focus is on the struggle from the uprising in Setif, Constantine and Guelma in 1944 to Independence Day in July 1962, The lower floor of the museum is a domed sanctuary, a natural shrine and the walls are inscribed with verses from the Quran.

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The Musée des Beaux Arts has the best collection of art in the country. It was opened in 1930 and shows the progress of European and particularly French art from the 16th century. There is also a collection of art work by local and international artists.

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Dar Aziza Bent el-Bey possibly Aziza might have been a bent (daughter) of the bey of Constantine, who built this house for her. It is one of the loveliest of Algiers’ grand houses with most impressive tile work. The house is home to the office of the National Archaeology Agency. Visitors can visit the courtyard but no photos allowed.

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Notre Dame d’Afrique is one of the city’s most famous buildings. This is a Catholic basilica that holds mass at 6 PM daily. It has impressive neo-Byzantine architecture and a restored interior.

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From here there are lovely views out to sea and across the city. The basilica sits on a hilltop on the eastern edge of the city.

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When the day has been hot and you are tired of wandering about the city head for Aquafortland. This is a fun water park and also a relaxing spa. Here you’ll find three swimming pools, four water slides, an outdoor Jacuzzi and a man-made sandy beach. If your into sports there are trampolines, basketball courts, a games room and even an adventure course.

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Aquafortland Spa pampers you indoors with a heated indoor pool, Jacuzzis, a steam room and a fitness center.

The city offers some massive malls among the best are the Centre Commercial Bab Ezzouar and the Centre Commercial Al Qods.

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The Centre Commercial Bab Ezzouar offers you 60,000 sq m of mall with more than 230 shops and services. There are six levels and has many international brand shops like Zara and Adidas.

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The Centre Commercial Al Qods is the largest mall in Algiers. It offers more than 430 shops and services that are spread over 18 floors.

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The Botanical Garden of Hamma is considered to be one of the world’s most important botanical gardens. There are more than 1,200 plant species and is also home to the Algerian National Institute of Agronomical Research.

 

https://www.thecrazytourist.com/15-best-things-algiers-algeria/

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/algeria/algiers

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Responses

  1. What a beautiful place. Love these pictures.

    • Yes, Crystal as I was exploring on the net I saw what an amazing place this was. However as you know it is great when you can do an armchair tour like this. I don’t have any idea how safe it is now to actually travel there but this world does have so much beautiful to offer.

  2. I never tought of a travel in Algeria. I will begin to consider it!!! 😉

    • Once this world hopefully settles down some you can travel most anywhere and admire all the beauty there is. Presently I am glad that I can offer these armchair travel to people. I love exploring what these places have to offer.

  3. We can rarely see someone writing about Algeria. Your pictures are wonderful!

    • Takes me awhile but I always make sure I get big and clear photos. Since starting this armchair travel blog I realized that there are so many incredible places in this world that it would be great to show them to everyone. So since I can tell everyone about these places but for now it may not be safe to travel there then at least they can put these places on their travel lists. Therefore I am attempting to cover as much of the world as I can and Africa was up next. I too am pleasantly surprised by so much beauty and hopefully people will have the opportunity to visit these amazing cities.


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