The beautiful city of Algiers is the capital of Algeria, a country located in the northern part of the Africa and is the largest country in the said continent and the Mediterranean. Being the capital, it is but normal to find most if the things that make Algeria great here, like stunning landmarks and architectures for example – some of which are enumerated below.
Notre Dame d’Afrique
This Catholic basilica was constructed in the later parts of the 1800s, and after some renovations and restorations in 2010, has become more beautiful and worth a trip. The church follows the Neo-Byzantine architectural styles which was a prominent style in France during the 1800s, complete with domes, minarets and arches. Another thing that makes this a great tourist spot is its wonderful location – a 400 feet cliff that overlooks the dark blue waters of the Algiers Bay.
Algeria also boasts of one of the oldest (being built in sometime in 1908-1910) and most beautiful post offices in the world – the La Grande Poste d’Algers. Although today, there are newer and more convenient methods of sending mail through worldwide services like Parcelforce, it’s hard not to appreciate the beauty of the La Grande Poste d’Algers. The exterior of the building reflects the Moorish influence in the country, with wonderful arches to the entrance and top windows. The interior of the building is what many people come to visit though, with intricate details of the domes and columns that reflect the architectural styles of the early 1900s.
One of the tallest structures in Algeria at more than 300 feet, the Makam Echahid (otherwise known as the Monument de Martyrs) is a landmark that is not so easily missed. The design of the building follows a pattern of three palm leaves, with the tips pointing upwards and meeting there. This impressive monument was opened in 1982, and serves to commemorate Algeria’s war for independence.
The “Great Mosque” as it is also known, is said to be the oldest Muslim place of worship in Algeria. Accordingly, inscriptions at the pulpit of the mosque proclaim that it has been in existence since the 1000s – 11 centuries ago, although additions and restorations have been made since then. Intricate lobed arches lined with ornate patterns adorn the Mosque, with the inside divided into prayer areas and courtyards.
Hailed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ketchauoa Mosque is definitely one of the most historic and beautiful architectures of Algiers and Algeria. The Mosque, which was built in the 17th century is located at the base of another place of interest – Casbah. Ketchauoa was first constructed as a place of worship for Muslims in the 1600s, but was turned into a Cathedral (named Cathedral of St. Philippe) by French when they occupied the place. However, in 1962, it was reconverted back into being Mosque. This changes and transitions is one reason for the mixture of Moorish and Byzantine influence on the architecture of the building.
Architectures in Algeria are great reflections of its rich and colorful history, which dates back from the time of the Ottomans, the French and finally to the present, and the best way to see them all is by taking a walking tour of Algiers.
Photo by cnhyde on Flickr