Often enchanted by the bright light that spreads over the whole country and the white hue of the buildings that climb the hill, nicknamed “Alger la Blanche”, a name that could not be better suited to this large lively city, that looks towards the Mediterranean and turns its back on the desert, between Morocco and Tunisia. Capital of one of the largest and richest countries in Africa, Algiers has one of the largest ports on the whole continent. With more than three million inhabitants, the city is divided into two zones: one modern, sunk on the coast, the other old, the Casbah, the old medina, perched on top of a hill, at 490 feet of altitude. If you ever decide to come and visit this beautiful city, here are the must-do things you must do:
1- The Martyr’s Memorial, A beautiful site of national memory.
We begin our visit with the memorial of the Martyr or Maqam Echahid, one of the most visited famous monuments in Algiers, Built-in 1982 near the Hamma Test Garden on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the independence. It is dedicated to the veterans of the Algerian War. It consists of three stylized palms that meet at mid-height, entirely in concrete. Beneath the monument is the Mujahid National Museum. A beautiful panorama of the bay and the southern districts is offered to you from the balustrade at the top of the Omar Kechkar path. This monument is of great importance to the Algerian people, it is considered the protector of the city of Algiers In addition, if you take the route of the sanctuary, it is an adventure in itself, with breathtaking views, roads through parts of mountains, and such an impressive natural beauty that will not leave you indifferent. Once there, you cannot help but stop and gaze at this fabulous monument for long minutes. It is a place to visit absolutely during your visit to our capital!
Kasbah means “castle”. This is the historic district of Algiers, including the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can walk through the maze of alleys between the houses, which sometimes hide hidden treasures. It is at the Kasbah that you will discover the most beautiful mosques in the city. La Kasbah is surrounded by a castle built in the 16th century. Medersas (schools) and mausoleums will be at the center of your visit. You can easily spend a day there.
3- The pala
Still, in Kasbah, Dar Aziza is a palace located on Martyrs Square. Located across from the Kechaoua Mosque, it is typical of 16th-century Algerian houses. It was once the residence of the Regent of Algiers. Although it is officially closed to the public, access to its courses is sometimes possible depending on the goodwill of the guard. There are two versions of the history of this beautiful house. The most popular saying is that Dar Aziza was founded in the 16th century on the orders of his daughter Aziza, who gave his hand to the Bey of Constantine. Henri Klein reported these facts without specifying the names of the sovereign states involved or the exact dates of these events. Another more precise version, reported by Eugène Vayssettes, says that Aziza, daughter of the caïd Ahmed Ben Ramdane and sister of Chelebi Ben Ali Bitchine, first married the bey Mohammed ben Ferhat of Constantine, and after this man’s death, she returned to her brother Rajab Bey. She loved him so much that she took him to Algiers, where they celebrated a great wedding. For her, he built a palace that later became a secondary residence for the Constantine family when they went to Algiers to pay their taxes. Jenina Palace is the oldest palace in Algiers. It was the center of power until 1817. Destroyed by a fire in 1844, only parts remain, including Dar Aziza.
4- The Hamma District Test Garden
The Jardin d’Essay du Hamma, located in the Hama district of Algiers, is a lush garden extending inside an amphitheater, at the foot of the National Museum of Fine Arts of Algiers, from Mohamed Belouizdad street to Hassiba Ben Bouali street, covering 58 hectares It was established in 1832 and is considered one of the world’s most important experimentation and domestication gardens. The garden is not only a center for plant and horticultural production but also a teaching center and a place for walks, much appreciated by Algerians. There are over 1,200 species of plants. The park presents a green gap on the axis of Maqam E’chahid on the coast of Algiers and the National Museum of Fine Arts. It is bounded by Hassiba Ben Bouali street and the bay to the north, Belouizdad street to the south, the stadium of 20 August 1955 to the east, and Hama cornice to the west, which houses the Sofitel hotel and the National Library. The west wing of the garden is occupied by the French garden and borders Washington. It is separated from the Old Garden further east by the Sycamore Hutong, perpendicular to the road such as Longshu Hutong and Banyan Hutong. It is itself cut by numerous parallel aisles to the road, two of which are mainly Bamboo Lane and Palm Lane. A circular path leading to the southeast, Coconut Alley, around the English garden with a small lake full of aquatic plants Visitors are impressed by the contrast between the meticulously carved and layered French-style gardens, offering a unique panorama of the sea and the rest of the garden, where tropical plants, curved tree trunks, and lush creepers trap us in an alien plant universe unknown at these latitudes At the northern end of Nagarjuna Hutong is the zoo, which gathers specimens of North African animals and some wild animals
5- The Basilica of Algiers: Our Lady of Africa
After fourteen years of work, the cathedral was completed in 1872. The architect Jean Eugène Fromageau built it according to a Byzantine plan and covered it with a dome. His plan has the distinction of positioning the choir to the southwest (rather than to the usual east). It is built on a 124 m promontory north of Algiers overlooking the sea and accessible by cable car from Bologhine (former Saint Eugene). Overlooking the Gulf of Algiers, this impressive Roman Catholic church stands on a cliff at an altitude of around 125 meters. Built-in the 19th century, its French architect (Jean-Eugène Fromageau) adopted it over time in France. She is considered the “twin sister” of the Church of Our Lady of Marseille. Masses are held every day in French, but many tourists come here just to admire the beautiful architecture and the views.”
6- The National Museum of Fine Arts
Facing the majestic bay of Algiers, on the “Hill of the Boar”, overlooking the lush “Garden of Esse”, stands proudly the National Museum of Fine Arts, Built by the French architect Paul Gion, born in Guerma, Algeria, construction began in 1927, ended in 1930 and opened to the public in April 1931. Its four-story building is an amazing combination of styles, the decorative influences of medieval Muslim art such as ancient art, or ancient forms of Creative geometrical art from Art Deco in the 1930s. With 8,000 works, it is considered the most important art collection in Algeria, the Arab world, and even the African continent. It also contains paintings (a true journey through six centuries of world art history), drawings, ancient engravings and prints, beautiful sculptures, antique furniture, and decorative arts, ceramics, glassware, and important numismatics of collection. In this widespread ensemble, Arab art occupies a prominent place, especially the oldest and most recent works of art in Algeria. The National Museum of Fine Arts has also created a path dedicated to sculpture in its outdoor spaces: suspended from an Italian-style pergola, offering an excellent path for discovering the sculptures on the panoramic terrace below, imposing La Coulée d’histoire retraces the history of sculpture in the world.
7- The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Algiers
Coeur cathedral is known for its modernist architecture. It was built in 1962 to meet the wishes of Bishop Leynaud in 1944 and Bishop Duval in 1958. Built according to the plans of Paul Herbé and Jean Le Couteur, it replaced Saint-Philippe Cathedral, which took over the Muslim cult at independence. The hyperbolic ‘tower’ peaks at 35m. The inside is amazing. Above the “dome” is a rose window that rests on four concrete arches supported by eight columns. The play of lines and the use of concrete perfectly represent the concept of God’s tent in the Gospel of St. John conceived by architects Paul Herbe and John Lecourt. These carpets were given by Louis Philippe to the Basilica of Saint Philippe. The Berber boxes were given to the cathedral by the Tiberium monks eleven days before their abduction and murder. The 6-ton Carrara marble altar houses the relics of African saints Victor and Falkins. The podium was a gift from Napoleon III, and the duo belonged to Stauelli’s Trappists. The authentic marble columns come from the church of Tamentfoust. Behind the nave, mosaics dating back to 324 come from the first cathedral of Castrum Tingitanum (Chlef, exOrléansville). It is a unique piece of ancient Christian art, as it will be the oldest representation of a church in the shape of a labyrinth. The organ was a gift from the diocese of Buffalick. The stained glass window is the masterpiece of master glassmaker Henri Martin Granel.
8- National Bardo Museum
An exceptional place filled with history and tradition, it was built in the late 18th century and is located in the center of Algiers. Listed as a historical monument in 1985, the building was originally a summer residence for celebrities including Prince Hafsey in exile, and since 1930 has served as a museum of prehistory and ethnography. The museum’s collection includes Paleolithic and Neolithic artifacts, including statues, hunting objects, and ostrich eggs that have been transformed into bottles. However, the core remains of the tomb dating from the 4th century and the skeleton of the legendary queen Okatoareg Tin Hinan. They were found in the center of a grave in Abalessa, Abalessa, and contained coins bearing a portrait of Constantine the Great, including gold and silver jewelry and funeral furniture. The museum also houses a collection of ethnographies, including musical instruments, weapons, rich fabric clothing, jewelry, and traditional furniture. In addition to the permanent ethnographic and prehistoric exhibitions, the National Bardo Museum also organizes temporary exhibitions and educational activities to raise public awareness of history and heritage.
9- The mosques of the Casbah
Among the mosques in the Kasbah of Algiers, the main ones are Jamaa Ketchaoua, Jamaa el Kebir, Jamaa el Jdid, Jamaa Ali Bitchin, Jamaa Sidi Ramdane, Jamaa Sidi M’hamed Cherif, Jamaa Berrani, Jamaa El Safir and Jamaa li houd. The oldest mosque in the Kasbah of Algiers is Jamaa El Kebir, a large mosque built in the Almoravid style by Youssef Ibn Tachfin in 1097. It was built when the Maghreb felt the influence of Andalusian art. The biggest feature of this mosque is its prayer hall and minaret. The hypostyle prayer hall is centered, with its powerful columns connected by wide scalloped arches, the arches of the nave are lobed and the arches of the span are flat and polished. The mihrab is decorated with columns and ceramics. The minaret, redone in 1324 by the Zianid Sultan of Tlemcen, is quadrangular with a lantern at the top, decorated with ceramics and fine sculptures. The exterior gallery is not original but consists of marble columns adorned with capital letters from the Es Sayida mosque, once located on Martyrs’ Square and demolished during the colonial era.
10-Palais des Rais
The history of the palace began with the construction of Bordj-Ez-zoubia by Dey Ramdhan Pacha in 1576 to strengthen the defenses of the lower medina. It is named QuaâEssour (lower part of the ramparts), Sebasa tbaren (seven taverns), and Topanet Arnaout because of the artillery erected by the rais Mami Arnaout. Fort 23 takes its name from the construction of the walls of the French city. On the other hand, the numbering of the designated palaces (Palace No. 16, Palace No. 17, etc.) and the houses of the “fishermen” are cadastral assignments of the same period. Bastion 23 has been well renovated and easy to visit