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Sneha Girap

Algiers

Country  Algeria
Population  1.57 million (1998)
Area  363 km2
District  Algiers District
Points of interest  Jardin dEssai du Hamma, Ketchaoua Mosque, Bardo National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography, Museum of Modern Art of Algiers, Notre Dame dAfrique
Colleges and Universities  University of Algiers, Polytechnic School of Algiers, Ecole Polytechnique dArchitecture et dUrbanisme

Algiers (Arabic: ?, al-Jaza’er; Algerian Arabic : ????? Dzayer, Berber: , French: ) is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000. An estimate put the population at about 3,574,000 in 2010. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria.

Map of Algiers

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Sometimes nicknamed El-Behdja (??????) or alternatively Alger la Blanche ("Algiers the White") for the glistening white of its buildings as seen rising up from the sea, 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.

History

Algiers in the past, History of Algiers

A Phoenician commercial outpost called Ikosim which later developed into a small Roman town called Icosium existed on what is now the marine quarter of the city. The rue de la Marine follows the lines of what used to be a Roman street. Roman cemeteries existed near Bab-el-Oued and Bab Azoun. The city was given Latin rights by Emperor Vespasian. The bishops of Icosium are mentioned as late as the 5th century.

Algiers in the past, History of Algiers

The present-day city was founded in 944 by Bologhine ibn Ziri, the founder of the Berber Zirid–Sanhaja 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. 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.

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As early as 1302 the islet of Penon in front of Algiers harbour had been occupied by Spaniards. 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 Penon and imposed a levy intended to suppress corsair activity.

Geography

Algiers Beautiful Landscapes of Algiers
  • The Casbah (of Al Qasbah , “the Citadel”), Ier District of Algiers: called Al-Djazair Al Mahroussa (“Well Kept Algiers”), it is founded on the ruins of old Icosium. It is a small city which, built on a hill, goes down towards the sea, divided in two: the High city and the Low city. One finds there masonries and mosques of the 17th century; Ketchaoua mosque (built in 1794 by the Dey Baba Hassan) flanked by two minarets, mosque el Djedid (built in 1660, at the time of Turkish regency) with its large finished ovoid cupola points some and its four coupolettes, mosque El Kebir (oldest of the mosques, it was built by almoravide Youssef Ibn Tachfin and rebuilt later in 1794), mosque Ali Betchnin (Rais, 1623), Dar Aziza, palate of Jenina. In the Kasbah, there are also labyrinths of lanes and houses that are very picturesque, and if one gets lost there, it is enough to go down again towards the sea to reposition oneself.
  • Bab El Oued : Literally the Rivers Gate, the popular district which extends from the Casbah beyond "the gate of the river". It is the capitals darling and best liked borough. Famous for its square with “the three clocks” and for its “market Triplet”, it is also a district of workshops and manufacturing plants.
  • Edge of sea : from 1840, the architects Pierre-August Guiauchain and Charles Frederic Chasseriau designed new buildings apart from the Kasbah, town hall, law courts, buildings, theatre, palace of the Governor, casino ... to form an elegant walk bordered by arcades which is today the boulevard Che Guevara (formerly the Boulevard of the Republic).
  • Kouba (will daira of Hussein-dey): Kouba is an old village which was absorbed by the expansion of the town of Algiers. Of village, Kouba quickly developed under the French colonial era then continued growing due to formidable demographic expansion that Algiers knew after the independence of Algeria in 1962. It is today a district of Algiers which is largely made up of houses, villas and buildings not exceeding five stories.
  • El Harrach, a suburb of Algiers, is located about 10 kilometres (6 miles) to the east of the city.
  • The communes of Hydra, Ben Aknoun, El-Biar and Bouzareah form what the inhabitants of Algiers call the heights of Algiers. These communes shelter the majority of the foreign embassies of Algiers, of many ministries and university centers, which makes it one of the administrative and policy centers of the country.
  • The street Didouche Mourade is located in the 3rd district Of Algiers. It extends from the Grande Post office to the Heights of Algiers. It crosses in particular the place Audin , the Faculty of Algiers , The Crowned Heart and the park of Galland . It is bordered by smart stores and restaurants along most of its length. It is regarded as the heart of the capital.
  • Economy

    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.

    References

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