Algiers, Algeria

Algiers, Algeria

According to abbreviationfinder, Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria, and the second most popular city in the Maghreb after Casablanca. It is located on the Mediterranean coast and is the main port of the Northwest part of Africa. The city is known as Algiers “the white one” because of the color of its buildings that, seen from the sea, give it a romantic air. Formerly it was named as one of the most romantic Arab cities.

Algiers has grown for centuries linked to its port, through which much of the Mediterranean trade passed. Dominated in different periods, the most important and recent being that of the French domination.

After World War II, the rapid population growth in the Islamic quarter led to the emergence of barracks neighborhoods in the surrounding areas. The city fought its independence in 1962. In 1992 it was awarded the title of World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Today the city is divided into two areas, the new area, built during the French occupation period, and the old city, which is the old core of the city, a small maze of narrow streets.

History

Origins

The city of Algiers traces the legend of its origins to distant times, and according to mythology, it was founded by the hero Hercules.

The city under different dominations

In 1200 BC the Phoenicians, who had already founded colonies in the bay of Algiers, had a coastal trading post in the area. At the end of the Punic Wars, the city (146 BC) was integrated into the Roman Empire, and was renamed Icosium, until in the middle of the 5th century it was conquered by the Vandals. Later it fell into the power of Byzantium, to pass into the hands of the Arabs in 650. The present city was founded around 950 by the Berbers, and during the next five centuries it was repeatedly under the rule of Europeans, Arabs and, again, Berbers.

The Spanish conquered it in 1510 and fortified the islet that extends in front of the port, known as the Rock. In 1518 its residents expelled the Spanish and proclaimed their inclusion within the Ottoman Empire. With the Ottomans it became the capital of the Barbary coast, whose pirates attacked ships from anywhere in the world for three hundred years. October 21-25, 1541, “Day of Algiers”, failed conquest, Ottoman victory. In 1816 a fleet made up of the Dutch and the British managed to almost completely destroy the Algerian fleet, despite which the city continued to be a pirate port until 1830, when France As revenge for the attacks on his ships, he conquered first the city, and then the entire country. French rule lasted until 1962, the year in which Algeria achieved its independence.

World War II

During World War II, the city was the headquarters (1942 – 1944) of the headquarters of the allied forces in North Africa and the French government in exile (known as the government of Free France) of General de Gaulle.

Geography

Algiers was built in the vicinity of the Algerian Sahel hills. The 230 km² of the city extend over thirty kilometers. It is also bordered to the north and east by the Mediterranean Sea, and dominated by a series of elevations.

Climate

Algiers has a Mediterranean climate, with a moderate temperature most of the year, in winter the average temperature is 13 ºC and the minimum is 5 ºC. In summer the maximum temperature does not exceed 24ºC and the minimum temperature does not exceed 20ºC. Heavy rainfall occurs in the winter season.

Demography

Algiers has a population of 2,072,993 (estimated in 2007). 59% of the population are of Arab origin, 38% Berber and 3% of those born have foreign origin from countries such as China, Vietnam and Mali. See population of Algeria.

Economic development

Algiers has grown for centuries linked to its port, through which much of the Mediterranean trade passed. Algeria is one of the main oil and gas producers on the continent, and the third economic power in terms of PPP GDP, 268.9 billion (2007). Like many of the OPEC economies, it is highly dependent on its oil exports and fluctuations in the international market. The transition from a planned economy to a market economy is still in process, many of the industries and services remain in the hands of the state. In 2001, the government of Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced reforms to open up to investors and liberalize various sectors. Due to the income of the oil and gas, Algiers has a good infrastructure as well as an acceptable standard of living.

Culture

The city is divided into two zones, the new zone, built during the period of French occupation and is characterized by wide boulevards, and by having theaters, cathedrals, museums, an opera house, as well as several educational institutions, including, the university and some Muslim schools and the old city, which is the old nucleus of the city, is characterized by being a network of narrow streets dominated by the kasba, a 16th century fortress built by the Turks, which gives the name to the whole neighborhood

Places of interest

  • Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Africa: it took more than 40 years to build, it was opened for the first time in 1872. Its architect was Jean Eugéne Fromageau, it is located in the north of Algiers.
  • Bardo Museum: one of the most visited museums in the capital, formerly the building was a Turkish mansion.
  • National Library of Algeria: located in a Turkish palace built in 1800, the new library built in the style of the British Library.
  • The Great Mosque: it is the oldest mosque in the city, it was built by Yusuf Ibn Tasufin, it has an inscription of the year in which the building was raised. The interior of the mosque has a square shape, divided into neighborhood corridors and with arches of Muslim art.
  • assili n´ Ajjer: it is a National Park, noted for its impressive sandstone arches and for its species of cypress trees.

Transport

Algiers has an international airport and is the center of the country’s road and rail network. The geographical situation of the city and the magnificent port facilities make it an important stopover for ships and a station to refuel fuel in the Mediterranean.

Sports

Algiers is the largest sports center in Algeria. In different disciplines, the Algiers clubs have achieved many national and international titles, in addition it has a huge sports complex (OCO Complex – Mohammed Boudiaf). Among the most important stages of the city include the Stade 5-juillet- 1962 (Stage 5 of July of 1962), with capacity for 70,000 spectators, and Stade 20 Août 1955 (Stadium of August of 20 1955), accommodating 15,000 viewers. In the first one, the Algerian soccer team usually plays their home games.

Social development

Health

The public health system is quite outdated. The Algerian government has made great efforts to modernize the health sector by building numerous hospitals. The shortcomings of the public sector are compensated by the large number of existing private clinics. The Algerian Health Guide has access to the yearbooks of doctors, hospitals and clinics in the country. Access to the health coverage system for foreigners covers the medical expenses of immigrants working for Algerian companies, and gives them the same rights as Algerian workers.

Sightseeing

Algeria is a country to be visited at any time of the year. In summer you can enjoy beautiful and crystalline beaches, both unspoilt and equipped with restaurants, hotels and tourist complexes, as in Algiers, Bejaïa, Tipasa and Oran. In winter you can enjoy the snow-filled mountains of Djurjura in Kabylia. In the center of the Djurdjura National Park, in the municipality of Tikjda, the ski resorts offer the possibility of practicing alpine skiing and cross-country skiing. Some of the most important sites to be visited are deserts and their oases, taking into account that most of the largest desert in the world, the Sahara, is located in Algerian territory, in addition Algeria has a wide archaeological and cultural heritage examples (the ruins of Djemila, the ruins of Tipasa]], the ruins of Timgad, the Kasbah of Algiers, the Berber cities of the M’zab valley, the mountainous massif of Tassilin’Ajjer, one of the largest cave painting sites in the world.

Algiers, Algeria