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Clockwise: Buildings along the Mediterranean coast of Algiers, Martyrs Memorial, Notre-Dame d'Afrique, Ketchaoua Mosque, Casbah, the Grand Post Office and the Ministry of Finance of Algeria
Algiers the White; Algiers the Dazzling
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Location in Algeria and Africa
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Algiers (Africa)
Coordinates: 36°45′14″N3°3′32″E / 36.75389°N 3.05889°E / 36.75389; 3.05889 Coordinates: 36°45′14″N3°3′32″E / 36.75389°N 3.05889°E / 36.75389; 3.05889
Country Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria
Province Algiers Province
District Sidi M'Hamed District
   Wali (Governor)Abdelkader Zoukh (since 2013)
   Capital City 363 km2 (140 sq mi)
1,190 km2 (460 sq mi)
Highest elevation
424 m (1,391 ft)
Lowest elevation
2 m (7 ft)
 (2011) [1] [2]
   Capital City 3,415,811
  Density9,400/km2 (24,000/sq mi)
  Metro density6,600/km2 (17,000/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
Postal codes
Area code(s) (+213) 021
Climate Csa

Algiers ( /ælˈɪərz/ al-JEERZ; Arabic : الجزائر , romanized: Al-Jazāʾir; French : Alger) is the capital and largest city of Algeria. In 2011, the city's population was estimated to be around 3,500,000. An estimate puts the population of the larger metropolitan city to be around 5,000,000. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria. [2]

The romanization of Arabic writes written and spoken Arabic in the Latin script in one of various systematic ways. Romanized Arabic is used for a number of different purposes, among them transcription of names and titles, cataloging Arabic language works, language education when used in lieu of or alongside the Arabic script, and representation of the language in scientific publications by linguists. These formal systems, which often make use of diacritics and non-standard Latin characters and are used in academic settings or for the benefit of non-speakers, contrast with informal means of written communication used by speakers such as the Latin-based Arabic chat alphabet.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.


Algiers is situated on the west side of a bay of the Mediterranean Sea. The modern part of the city is built on the level ground by the seashore; the old part, the ancient city of the deys, climbs the steep hill behind the modern town and is crowned by the casbah or citadel, 122 metres (400 ft) above the sea. The casbah and the two quays form a triangle. [3]

Mediterranean Sea Sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean between Europe, Africa and Asia

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa and on the east by the Levant. Although the sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually identified as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was partly or completely desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years, the Messinian salinity crisis, before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago.

Dey title given to the rulers of the Regency of Algiers (Algeria), Tripoli, and Tunis under the Ottoman Empire

Dey, likely a local mispronunciation of the common Ottoman honorific title, bey, "lord", was the title given to the rulers of the Regency of Algiers (Algeria), Tripoli, and Tunis under the Ottoman Empire from 1671 onwards. Twenty-nine deys held office from the establishment of the deylicate in Algeria until the French conquest in 1830.


A kasbah, previously spelled casbah or qasbah in English, also known as qasaba, gasaba and quasabeh, in India qassabah and in Spain alcazaba, is a type of medina or fortress (citadel). The meaning of the word kasbah is varied, including "keep", "old city" and "watchtower" or "blockhouse".


The city's name is derived via French and Catalan Alger [4] from the Arabic name al-Jazāʾir (الجزائر), "The Islands". This name refers to the four former islands which lay off the city's coast before becoming part of the mainland in 1525. Al-Jazāʾir is itself a truncated form of the city's older name Jazaʾir Banī Mazghanna (جزائر بني مزغانة), "The Islands of the Sons of Mazghana", used by early medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi and Yaqut al-Hamawi.

Catalan language Romance language

Catalan is a Western Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin and named after the medieval Principality of Catalonia, in northeastern modern Spain. It is the only official language of Andorra, and a co-official language of the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencia. It also has semi-official status in the Italian comune of Alghero. It is also spoken in the eastern strip of Aragon, in some villages of Region of Murcia called Carche and in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France. These territories are often called Països Catalans or "Catalan Countries".

Yāqūt Shihāb al-Dīn ibn-'Abdullāh al-Rūmī al-Hamawī (1179–1229) was an Islamic biographer and geographer of Greek origin, renowned for his encyclopedic writings on the Muslim world. The nisba "al-Rumi" refers to his Greek (Byzantine) descent; "al-Hamawi" is taken after his master's name; and Ibn Abdullah is "son of Abdullah". The word yāqūt means ruby or hyacinth.

In antiquity, the Greeks knew the town as Ikósion (Ancient Greek : Ἰκόσιον), which was Latinized as Icosium under Roman rule. The Greeks explained the name as coming from their word for "twenty" (εἴκοσι, eíkosi), supposedly because it had been founded by 20 companions of Hercules when he visited the Atlas Mountains during his labors. [5]

Classical antiquity Age of the ancient Greeks and Romans

Classical antiquity is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome known as the Greco-Roman world. It is the period in which Greek and Roman society flourished and wielded great influence throughout Europe, North Africa and Western Asia.

Icosium city and titular see near Algiers in Africa

Icosium was a small Punic and Berber city that became an important Roman colony and an early medieval bishopric in the casbah area of actual Algiers..

Roman Republic Period of ancient Roman civilization (509–27 BC)

The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.

Algiers is also known as el-Behdja (البهجة, "The Joyous") or "Algiers the White" (French: Alger la Blanche) for its whitewashed buildings, seen rising from the sea.


Early history

A small Phoenician colony on Algiers's former islands was established and taken over by the Carthaginians sometime before the 3rd century BC. After the Punic Wars, the Romans eventually took over administration of the town, which they called Icosium. Its ruins now form part of the modern city's marine quarter, with the Rue de la Marine following a former Roman road. Roman cemeteries existed near Bab-el-Oued and Bab Azoun . The city was given Latin rights by the emperor Vespasian. The bishops of Icosium are mentioned as late as the 5th century, [6] but the ancient town fell into obscurity during the Muslim conquest of North Africa.

Punic Wars Series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC

The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC. At the time, they were some of the largest wars that had ever taken place. The term Punic comes from the Latin word Punicus, meaning "Carthaginian", with reference to the Carthaginians' Phoenician ancestry.

Bab Azoun is the name of a city gate of Algiers. The rue Bab Azoun which runs parallel to the boulevard de la Republique and crosses the rue Bab El Oued in the city center.

Vespasian Ninth Emperor of Ancient Rome, founder of the Flavian dynasty

Vespasian was Roman emperor from 69–79, the fourth, and last, in the Year of the Four Emperors. He founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Empire for 27 years.

The present city was founded in 944 by Bologhine ibn Ziri, the founder of the Berber ZiridSanhaja dynasty. He had earlier (935) built his own house and a Sanhaja center at Ashir, just south of Algiers. Although his Zirid dynasty was overthrown by Roger II of Sicily in 1148, the Zirids had already lost control of Algiers to their cousins the Hammadids in 1014. [7] The city was wrested from the Hammadids by the Almohads in 1159, and in the 13th century came under the dominion of the Ziyanid sultans of Tlemcen. Nominally part of the sultanate of Tlemcen, Algiers had a large measure of independence under amirs of its own due to Oran being the chief seaport of the Ziyanids. [6]

Sanhaja Ethnic group

The Sanhaja were once one of the largest North African tribal confederations, along with the Iznaten and Imesmuden confederations. Many tribes in Morocco and Mauritania bore and still carry this ethnonym, especially in its Berber form. Other names for the population include Zenata, Zenaga, Znaga, Sanhája, Sanhâdja and Senhaja.

Roger II of Sicily King of Sicily

Roger II was King of Sicily and Africa, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, became Duke of Apulia and Calabria in 1127, then King of Sicily in 1130 and King of Africa in 1148.. By the time of his death at the age of 58, Roger had succeeded in uniting all the Norman conquests in Italy into one kingdom with a strong centralized government.

Kingdom of Tlemcen

The Kingdom of Tlemcen or Zayyanid Kingdom of Tlemcen was a Berber kingdom in what is now the northwest of Algeria. Its territory stretched from Tlemcen to the Chelif bend and Algiers, and reached at its zenith the Moulouya River to the west, Sijilmasa to the south and the Soummam river to the east.

The Peñón of Algiers, an islet in front of Algiers harbour had been occupied by the Spaniards as early as 1302. Thereafter, a considerable amount of trade began to flow between Algiers and Spain. However, Algiers continued to be of comparatively little importance until after the expulsion of the Moors from Spain, many of whom sought asylum in the city. In 1510, following their occupation of Oran and other towns on the coast of Africa, the Spaniards fortified the islet of Peñon [6] and imposed a levy intended to suppress corsair activity. [8]

Ottoman rule

Abraham Duquesne delivering Christian captives in Algiers after the bombing in 1683. Duquesne fait liberer des captifs chretiens apres le bombardement d Alger en 1683.jpg
Abraham Duquesne delivering Christian captives in Algiers after the bombing in 1683.

In 1516, the amir of Algiers, Selim b. Teumi, invited the corsair brothers Aruj and Hayreddin Barbarossa to expel the Spaniards. Aruj came to Algiers, ordered the assassination of Selim, and seized the town and ousted the Spanish in the Capture of Algiers (1516). Hayreddin, succeeding Aruj after the latter was killed in battle against the Spaniards in the Fall of Tlemcen (1517), was the founder of the pashaluk , which subsequently became the beylik , of Algeria. Barbarossa lost Algiers in 1524 but regained it with the Capture of Algiers (1529), and then formally invited the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent to accept sovereignty over the territory and to annex Algiers to the Ottoman Empire.

Historic map of Algiers by Piri Reis Algiers and Bejaia by Piri Reis.jpg
Historic map of Algiers by Piri Reis

Algiers from this time became the chief seat of the Barbary pirates. In October 1541 in the Algiers expedition, the King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V sought to capture the city, but a storm destroyed a great number of his ships, and his army of some 30,000, chiefly made up of Spaniards, was defeated by the Algerians under their Pasha, Hassan. [6]

The bombardment of Algiers by Lord Exmouth, August 1816, painted by Thomas Luny Sm Bombardment of Algiers, August 1816-Luny.jpg
The bombardment of Algiers by Lord Exmouth, August 1816, painted by Thomas Luny
Ornate Ottoman cannon found in Algiers on 8 October 1581 by Ca'fer el-Mu'allim. Length: 385 cm, cal:178 mm, weight: 2910 kg, stone projectile. Seized by France during the invasion of Algiers in 1830. Musee de l'Armee, Paris. Ottoman cannon end of 16th century length 385cm cal 178mm weight 2910 stone projectile founded 8 October 1581 Alger seized 1830.jpg
Ornate Ottoman cannon found in Algiers on 8 October 1581 by Ca'fer el-Mu'allim. Length: 385 cm, cal:178 mm, weight: 2910 kg, stone projectile. Seized by France during the invasion of Algiers in 1830. Musée de l'Armée, Paris.

Formally part of the Ottoman Empire but essentially free from Ottoman control, starting in the 16th century Algiers turned to piracy and ransoming. Due to its location on the periphery of both the Ottoman and European economic spheres, and depending for its existence on a Mediterranean that was increasingly controlled by European shipping, backed by European navies, piracy became the primary economic activity. Repeated attempts were made by various nations to subdue the pirates that disturbed shipping in the western Mediterranean and engaged in slave raids as far north as Iceland. [9] The United States fought two wars (the First and Second Barbary Wars) over Algiers' attacks on shipping.

Among the notable people held for ransom was the future Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes, who was captive in Algiers almost five years, and who wrote two plays set in Algiers of the period. The primary source for knowledge of Algiers of this period, since there are no contemporary local sources, is the Topografía e historia general de Argel (1612, but written earlier), published by Diego de Haedo, but whose authorship is disputed. [10] [11] This work describes in detail the city, the behavior of its inhabitants, and its military defenses, with the unsuccessful hope of facilitating an attack by Spain so as to end the piracy.

A significant number of renegades lived in Algiers at the time, Christians converted voluntarily to Islam, many fleeing the law or other problems at home. Once converted to Islam, they were safe in Algiers. Many occupied positions of authority, such as Samson Rowlie, an Englishman who became Treasurer of Algiers. [12]

The city under Ottoman control was enclosed by a wall on all sides, including along the seafront. In this wall, five gates allowed access to the city, with five roads from each gate dividing the city and meeting in front of the Ketchaoua Mosque. In 1556, a citadel was constructed at the highest point in the wall. A major road running north to south divided the city in two: The upper city (al-Gabal, or 'the mountain') which consisted of about fifty small quarters of Andalusian, Jewish, Moorish and Kabyle communities, and the lower city (al-Wata, or 'the plains') which was the administrative, military and commercial centre of the city, mostly inhabited by Turkish dignitaries and other upper-class families. [13]

In August 1816, the city was bombarded by a British squadron under Lord Exmouth (a descendant of Thomas Pellew, taken in an Algerian slave raid in 1715 [14] ), assisted by Dutch men-of-war, destroying the corsair fleet harboured in Algiers. [6]

French rule

Algiers depot and station grounds of Algerian Railway, 1894 Algiers - depot and station grounds of Algerian Railway LCCN2004707260.tif
Algiers depot and station grounds of Algerian Railway, 1894

The history of Algiers from 1830 to 1962 is bound to the larger history of Algeria and its relationship to France. On July 4, 1830, under the pretext of an affront to the French consul—whom the dey had hit with a fly-whisk when the consul said the French government was not prepared to pay its large outstanding debts to two Algerian merchants—a French army under General de Bourmont attacked the city in the 1830 invasion of Algiers. The city capitulated the following day. Algiers became the capital of French Algeria.

Many Europeans settled in Algiers, and by the early 20th century they formed a majority of the city's population. [15] During the 1930s, the architect Le Corbusier drew up plans for a complete redesign of the colonial city. Le Corbusier was highly critical of the urban style of Algiers, describing the European district as "nothing but crumbling walls and devastated nature, the whole a sullied blot". He also criticised the difference in living standards he perceived between the European and African residents of the city, describing a situation in which "the 'civilised' live like rats in holes" whereas "the 'barbarians' live in solitude, in well-being". [16] However, these plans were ultimately ignored by the French administration.

During World War II, Algiers was the first city to be seized from the Germans by the Allies during Operation Torch.

City and harbour of Algiers, c. 1921 Algiers CNE-v1-p58-J.jpg
City and harbour of Algiers, c.1921

In 1962, after a bloody independence struggle in which hundreds of thousands (estimates range between 350,000 and 1,500,000) died (mostly Algerians but also French and Pieds-Noirs) during fighting between the French Army and the Algerian Front de Libération Nationale, Algeria gained its independence, with Algiers as its capital. Since then, despite losing its entire pied-noir population, the city has expanded massively. It now has about five million inhabitants, or 10 percent of Algeria's population—and its suburbs now cover most of the surrounding Mitidja plain.

Algerian War

The "tense truce" between Algerian rebels, French army and the OAS in 1962

Algiers also played a pivotal role in the Algerian War (1954–1962), particularly during the Battle of Algiers when the 10th Parachute Division of the French Army, starting on January 7, 1957, and on the orders of the French Minister of Justice François Mitterrand (who authorized any means "to eliminate the insurrectionists"[ citation needed ]), led attacks against the Algerian fighters for independence. Algiers remains marked by this battle, which was characterized by merciless fighting between FLN forces which carried out a guerrilla campaign against the French military and police and pro-French Algerian soldiers, and the French Army which responded with a bloody repression, torture and blanket terrorism against the native population. The demonstrations of May 13 during the crisis of 1958 provoked the fall of the Fourth Republic in France, as well as the return of General de Gaulle to power.


Algeria achieved independence on July 5, 1962. Run by the FLN that had secured independence, Algiers became a member of Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War. In October 1988, one year before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Algiers was the site of demonstrations demanding the end of the single-party system and the creation of a real democracy baptized the "Spring of Algier". The demonstrators were repressed by the authorities (more than 300 dead), but the movement constituted a turning point in the political history of modern Algeria. In 1989, a new constitution was adopted that put an end to the one-party rule and saw the creation of more than fifty political parties, as well as official freedom of the press.

Crisis of the 1990s

The city became the theatre of many political demonstrations of all descriptions until 1993. In 1991, a political entity dominated by religious conservatives called the Islamic Salvation Front engaged in a political test of wills with the authorities. In the 1992 elections for the Algerian National Assembly, the Islamists garnered a large amount of support in the first round, helped by a massive abstention from disillusioned Algerian voters by the turn of events. Fearing an eventual win by the Islamists, the army canceled the election process, setting off a civil war between the State and armed religious conservatives which would last for a decade.

On December 11, 2007, two car bombs exploded in Algiers. One bomb targeted two United Nations buildings and the other targeted a government building housing the Supreme Court. The death toll was at least 62, with over two hundred injured in the attacks. [17] However, only 26 remained hospitalized the following day. [18] As of 2008, it is speculated that the attack was carried out by the Al Qaida cell within the city. [19]

Indigenous terrorist groups have been actively operating in Algeria since around 2002.


Districts of Algiers

Notre Dame d'Afrique, built by European settlers in 1872 NOTRE DAME D'AFRIQUE.ALGER.jpg
Notre Dame d'Afrique, built by European settlers in 1872
Astronautical view of Algiers Algiers, Algeria.jpg
Astronautical view of Algiers


Algiers has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). Its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea aids in moderating the city's temperatures. As a result, Algiers usually does not see the extreme temperatures that are experienced in the adjacent interior. Algiers on average receives roughly 600 millimetres (24 in) of rain per year, the bulk of which is seen between October and April. The precipitation is higher than in most of coastal Mediterranean Spain, and similar to most of coastal Mediterranean France, as opposed to the interior North African semi-arid or arid climate.

Snow is very rare; in 2012, the city received 100 millimetres (4 in), its first snowfall in eight years. [21]

Climate data for Algiers (Dar El Beïda international airport) 1976–2005 averages, extremes 1838–present
Record high °C (°F)27.6
Average high °C (°F)16.7
Daily mean °C (°F)11.1
Average low °C (°F)5.5
Record low °C (°F)−3.3
Average precipitation mm (inches)81.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)11.410.
Average relative humidity (%)71666562666667656866686867
Mean monthly sunshine hours 139.5158.2207.7228.0300.7300.0353.4325.5267.0198.4153.0145.72,777.1
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization (average temperatures and precipitation, 1976–2005) [22]
Source #2: Arab Meteorology Book (humidity and sun), [23] Meteo Climat (record highs and lows) [24]


See also: Algiers politics and administration (fr) and List of mayors of Algiers

Local architecture

Algiers waterfront Alger front de mer.jpg
Algiers waterfront
Cosmopolitan Algiers Algeri04.jpg
Cosmopolitan Algiers

There are many public buildings of interest, including the whole Kasbah quarter, Martyrs Square (Sahat ech-Chouhada ساحة الشهداء), the government offices (formerly the British consulate), the "Grand", "New", and Ketchaoua Mosques, the Roman Catholic cathedral of Notre Dame d'Afrique, the Bardo Museum (a former Turkish mansion), the old Bibliothèque Nationale d'Alger—a Turkish palace built in 1799–1800 [25] —and the new National Library, built in a style reminiscent of the British Library.

The main building in the Kasbah was begun in 1516 on the site of an older building, and served as the palace of the deys until the French conquest. A road has been cut through the centre of the building, the mosque turned into barracks, and the hall of audience allowed to fall into ruin. There still remain a minaret and some marble arches and columns. Traces exist of the vaults in which were stored the treasures of the dey. [25]

Djamaa el Kebir (Jamaa-el-Kebir الجامع الكبير) is the oldest mosque in Algiers. It was first built by Yusuf ibn Tashfin, but reconstructed many times. The pulpit ( minbar منبر) bears an inscription showing that the building existed in 1097. The minaret was built by the sultan of Tlemcen, in 1324. [26] The interior of the mosque is square and is divided into aisles by columns joined by Moorish arches. [25]

The New Mosque (Jamaa-el-Jedid الجامع الجديد), dating from the 17th century, is in the form of a Greek cross, surmounted by a large white cupola, with four small cupolas at the corners. The minaret is 27 metres (89 ft) high. The interior resembles that of the Grand Mosque. [25]

The church of the Holy Trinity (built in 1870) stands at the southern end of the rue d'Isly near the site of the demolished Fort Bab Azoun باب عزون. The interior is richly decorated with various coloured marbles. Many of these marbles contain memorial inscriptions relating to the British residents (voluntary and involuntary) of Algiers from the time of John Tipton, the first English consul, in 1580 (NB Some sources give 1585). One tablet records that in 1631 two Algerine pirate crews landed in Ireland, sacked Baltimore, and enslaved its inhabitants. [25]

The Ketchaoua Mosque Mosquee Ketchaoua.jpg
The Ketchaoua Mosque

The Ketchaoua mosque (Djamaa Ketchaoua جامع كتشاوة), at the foot of the Casbah, was before independence in 1962 the cathedral of St Philippe, itself made in 1845 from a mosque dating from 1612. The principal entrance, reached by a flight of 23 steps, is ornamented with a portico supported by four black-veined marble columns. The roof of the nave is of Moorish plaster work. It rests on a series of arcades supported by white marble columns. Several of these columns belonged to the original mosque. In one of the chapels was a tomb containing the bones of San Geronimo. [25] The building seems a curious blend of Moorish and Byzantine styles.

Algiers possesses a college with schools of law, medicine, science and letters. The college buildings are large and handsome. The Bardo Museum in Tunisia holds some of the ancient sculptures and mosaics discovered in Algeria, together with medals and Algerian money. [25]

The port of Algiers is sheltered from all winds. There are two harbours, both artificial—the old or northern harbour and the southern or Agha harbour. The northern harbour covers an area of 95 hectares (235 acres). An opening in the south jetty affords an entrance into Agha harbour, constructed in Agha Bay. Agha harbour has also an independent entrance on its southern side. The inner harbour was begun in 1518 by Khair-ad-Din Barbarossa (see History, below), who, to accommodated his pirate vessels, caused the island on which was Fort Penon to be connected with the mainland by a mole. The lighthouse which occupies the site of Fort Penon was built in 1544. [25]

Algiers was a walled city from the time of the deys until the close of the 19th century. The French, after their occupation of the city (1830), built a rampart, parapet and ditch, with two terminal forts, Bab Azoun باب عزون to the south and Bab-el-Oued اد to the north. The forts and part of the ramparts were demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, when a line of forts occupying the heights of Bouzareah بوزريعة (at an elevation of 396 metres (1,299 ft) above the sea) took their place. [25]

Notre Dame d'Afrique, a church built (1858–1872) in a mixture of the Roman and Byzantine styles, is conspicuously situated overlooking the sea, on the shoulder of the Bouzareah hills, 3 km (2 mi) to the north of the city. Above the altar is a statue of the Virgin depicted as a black woman. The church also contains a solid silver statue of the archangel Michael, belonging to the confraternity of Neapolitan fishermen. [6]

Villa Abd-el-Tif, former residence of the dey, was used during the French period, to accommodate French artists, chiefly painters, and winners of the Abd-el-Tif prize, among whom Maurice Boitel, for a while of two years. Nowadays, Algerian artists are back in the villa's studios.


The Monument of the Martyrs (Maquam E'chahid) Makamelchahid.JPG
The Monument of the Martyrs (Maquam E’chahid)
Grand Post Office Alger - Grande Poste.jpg
Grand Post Office
The El Jedid mosque at the Place des Martyrs Algiers mosque.jpg
The El Jedid mosque at the Place des Martyrs


1977 (Census)1,523,000 [27]
1987 (Census)1,507,241 [27]
1998 (Census)2,086,212 [27]
2008 (Census)2,364,230 [27]

Algiers has a population of about 3,335,418 (2012 estimate). [28]

The ethnic distribution is 53% from an Arabic-speaking background, 44% from a Berber-speaking background and 3% foreign-born.


"Centre Commercial Al Qods" in Algiers El Quds Mall - Cheraga.jpg
"Centre Commercial Al Qods" in Algiers
Ministry of Finance of Algeria Ministerefinacealger.jpg
Ministry of Finance of Algeria

Algiers is an important economic, commercial and financial center, with in particular a stock exchange with a capitalisation of 60 million euros. The city has the highest cost of living of any city in North Africa, as well as the 50th highest worldwide, as of March 2007, having gained one position compared to the previous year. [29]

Mohamed Ben Ali El Abbar, president of the Council of Administration of the Emirate Group EMAAR, presented five "megaprojects" to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, during a ceremony which took place Saturday, July 15, within the Palace of the People of Algiers. These projects will transform the city of Algiers and its surroundings by equipping them with a retail area and restoration and leisure facilities.

The first project will concentrate on the reorganization and the development of the infrastructures of the railway station "Aga" located in the downtown area. The ultramodern station intended to accommodate more than 80.000 passengers per day, will become a center of circulation in the heart of the grid system, surrounded by commercial offices and buildings and hotels intended for travelers in transit. A shopping centre and three high-rise office buildings rising with the top of the commercial zone will accompany the project.

The second project will not relate to the bay of Algiers and aims to revitalize the sea front. The development of the 44 km (27 mi) sea front will include marinas, channels, luxury hotels, offices, apartments of great standing, luxury stores and leisure amenities. A crescent-shaped peninsula will be set up on the open sea. The project of the bay of Algiers will also comprise six small islands, of which four of round form, connected to each other by bridges and marinas and will include tourist and residential complexes.

Air Algerie head office in Place Audin near the University of Algiers, in Alger-Centre Alger Tunnel-des-Facultes - Place-Maurice-Audin IMG 0236.JPG
Air Algérie head office in Place Audin near the University of Algiers, in Alger-Centre

The third project will relate to restructuring an area of Algiers, qualified by the originators of the project of "city of wellness". El Abbar indicated to the journalists that the complex would be "agreeable for all those which will want to combine tourism and well-being or tourism and relaxation". The complex will include a university, a research center and a medical centre. It should also include a hospital complex, a care centre, a hotel zone, an urban centre and a thermal spa with villas and apartments. The university will include a medical school and a school for care male nurses which will be able to accommodate 500 students. The university campus will have the possibility of seeing setting up broad ranges of buildings of research laboratories and residences.

Another project relates to technological implantation of a campus in Sidi Abdellah, 25 km (16 mi) south-east from Algiers. This 90 hectares (222 acres) site will include shopping centres, residential zones with high standard apartments and a golf course surrounded by villas and hotels. Two other residential zones, including 1.800 apartments and 40 high standard villas, will be built on the surrounding hills.

The fifth project is that of the tourist complex Colonel Abbès, which will be located 25 km (16 mi) west from Algiers. This complex will include several retail zones, meeting places, and residential zones composed of apartments and villas with views of the sea.[ citation needed ]

Currently there is another project under construction, by the name of Algiers Medina. The first step of the project is nearly complete.

A Hewlett Packard office for French-speaking countries in Africa is in Algiers. [30]

Tourist installations

Panorama of the city as seen from Bologhine district Algeri08.jpg
Panorama of the city as seen from Bologhine district

Some 20 km (12 mi) to the west of Algiers are such seaside resorts as Sidi Fredj (ex-Sidi Ferruch), Palm Beach, Douaouda, Zéralda, and the Club of the Pines (residence of State); there are tourist complexes, Algerian and other restaurants, souvenir shops, supervised beaches, and other amenities. The city is also equipped with important hotel complexes such as the hotel Hilton, El-Aurassi or El Djazair. Algiers also has the first water park in the country. The tourism of Algiers is growing but is not as developed as that of the larger cities in Morocco or Tunisia.


International schools for foreign residents include:

There was formerly the École japonaise d'Alger (アルジェ日本人学校 Aruje Nihonjin Gakkō), a school for Japanese children. [31] [32]

Public transport

Public transport of Algiers Metro, suburban train and tramway map of Algiers.png
Public transport of Algiers

4 urban beltways:


Algiers is the sporting centre of Algeria. The city has a number of professional clubs in the variety of sports, which have won national and international titles. Among the sports facilities within the city, there is an enormous sporting complex – Complex of OCO – Mohamed Boudiaf. This includes the Stade 5 Juillet 1962 (capacity 80,000), a venue for athletics, an Olympic swimming pool, a multisports room (the Cupola), an 18-hole golf course, and several tennis courts.

The following major sporting events have been held in Algiers (not-exhaustive list):

Football clubs

Major association football club based in Algiers include:

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Algiers is twinned with:

Cooperation agreements

Algiers has cooperation agreements with:

In addition, many of the wards and cities within Algiers maintain sister-city relationships with other foreign cities.

Films about Algiers

See also

Related Research Articles

Casbah of Algiers

The Casbah is specifically the citadel of Algiers in Algeria and the traditional quarter clustered around it. In 1992, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed Kasbah of Algiers a World Cultural Heritage site, as "There are the remains of the citadel, old mosques and Ottoman-style palaces as well as the remains of a traditional urban structure associated with a deep-rooted sense of community."

Dellys City and Common in Boumerdès Province, Algeria

Dellys is a small Mediterranean town in northern Algeria's coastal Boumerdès Province, almost due north of Tizi-Ouzou and just east of the river Sebaou.

MC Alger association football club

Mouloudia Club d'Alger, referred to as MC Alger or MCA for short, is an Algerian football club based in Algiers. The club was founded in 1921 and its colours are red, green and white. Their home stadium, the Stade 5 Juillet 1962, has a capacity of 65,000 spectators. They also receive their opponents in Omar Hamadi Stadium. The club is currently playing in the Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1.

Ahmed Bey ben Mohamed Chérif Algerian bey

Ahmed Bey ben Mohamed Sherif, also known as Ahmed Bey or Hadj Ahmed Bey was the last Ottoman Bey of Constantine, in the Regency of Algiers, ruling from 1826 to 1848. He was the successor of Mohamed Menamenni Bey ben Khan. As head of state, he led the local population in a fierce resistance to the French occupation forces. In 1837 the territory was conquered by the French, who reinstated the Bey as ruler of the region. He remained in this position until 1848, when the region became a part of the colony of Algiers and the Bey was deposed.

Algiers Province Province in Algeria

Algiers is a province (wilayah) in Algeria, named after its capital, Algiers, which is also the national capital. It is adopted from the old French département of Algiers and has a population of about 3 million. It is the most densely populated province of Algeria, and also the smallest by area.

Bab El Oued Commune in Algiers Province, Algeria

Bab El Oued is a neighbourhood in Algiers, the capital of Algeria, along the coast north of the city centre. As of 2008, the population of the commune of Bab El Oued was 64,732.

Djamaa el Kebir building in Algeria

The Great Mosque of Algiers or “Djama’a al-Kebir” is a mosque in Algiers, Algeria, located very close to Algiers Harbor. An inscription on the minbar (منبر) or the pulpit testifies to fact that the mosque was built in 1097. It is also known by several other names such as Grand Mosque d'Alger, Djamaa al-Kebir, El Kebir Mosque and Jami Masjid. It is one of the few remaining examples of Almoravid architecture. It is the oldest mosque in Algiers and is said to be the oldest mosque in Algeria after Sidi Okba Mosque. It was built under sultan Ali ibn Yusuf. Its minaret dates from 1332 and was built by the Ziyyanid Sultan of Tlemcen. The gallery at the outside of the mosque was built in 1840. Its construction was a consequence of a complete reconstruction of the street by the French.

Ketchaoua Mosque building in Algeria

The Ketchaoua Mosque is a mosque in Algiers, the capital of Algeria. It was built during the Ottoman rule in the 17th century and is located at the foot of the Casbah, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mosque that stands on the first of the Casbah’s many steep stairways, was logistically and symbolically the cynosure of the pre-colonial city of Algiers. The mosque is noted for its unique fusion of Moorish and Byzantine architecture.

Tourism in Algeria

Algeria is the largest country in the African continent and the 10th largest country in terms of the total area. Located in North Africa, one of the main tourist attractions is the Sahara, the second largest desert in the world. Some sand dunes can reach 180 meters in height. Algeria has been a member of the World Tourism Organization since 1976. According to a report of the World Tourism Organization published in 2014, Algeria is the 4th largest tourist destination in Africa in 2013 with 2,7 million foreign tourists, and ranks 111th on the international tourism scene, according to the London-based World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC). The tourism sector in Algeria accounts for 3.9% of the volume of exports, 9.5% of the productive investment rate and 8.1% of the Gross Domestic Product.

Invasion of Algiers in 1830 French military campaign

The Invasion of Algiers in 1830 was a large-scale military operation by which the Kingdom of France, ruled by Charles X, invaded and conquered the Ottoman Regency of Algiers. Algiers had been a province of the Ottoman Empire since the Capture of Algiers in 1529 by Hayreddin Barbarossa.

Battle of Bab El Oued battle of the Algerian War

The Battle of Bab el Oued was a military confrontation which occurred during the latter stages of the Algerian War (1954–1962). The battle was between the Organisation armée secrète (OAS), a militant group opposed to Algerian independence, and the French army in a traditionally working-class European quarter of Algiers from 23 March to 6 April 1962.

Ali Bitchin was a "renegade" who made his fortune in Algiers through privateering. Bitchin was believed to be born with the family name of Piccini or Puccini or Piccinino in Venice. He was a Grand Admiral of Algiers and is known for a mosque he built in the district of Zoudj-Aïoun in the old city (Casbah), which still bears his name today.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Algiers, Algeria.

Yusuf Dey was Dey of Tunis from 1610 until his death.

Yahia Boushaki Place in Algiers Province, Algeria

Yahia Boushaki is an Algiers residential, administrative and commercial neighbourhood located in the commune of Bab Ezzouar in Kabylie.

Ali Bitchin Mosque building in Algeria

Ali Bitchin Mosque or Zawj Euyun Mosque is a historic mosque in Algiers, Algeria. The mosque is situated inside the UNESCO World Heritage Site Casbah of Algiers. It is located at the crosspoint between the Bab al-Wadi Street and the lower area of casbah.

Palace of the Dey

Palace of the Dey, also known as Algeria Castle or Dey Hussein Palace, is an Ottoman era palace in the city of Algiers, Algeria. Completed in the 16th century, it is situated inside the Casbah of Algiers, and settled by successive deys of the city. It once was the second largest palace in the Ottoman Empire, next to Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.

Casbah of Dellys

The Casbah of Dellys is a historic kasbah or medina quarter, the old town in the city of Dellys, Algeria. The kasbah is known for Ottoman-era buildings and cityscape. Today it is a favorite spot for tourism in Boumerdès Province.

Bombardment of Algiers (1683)

The bombardment of Algiers in 1683 was a French naval operation against the Regency of Algiers during the Franco-Algerian War of 1681-88. It led to the rescue of more than 100 French prisoners, in some cases after decades of captivity, but the great majority of Christian slaves in Algiers were not liberated.



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