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Architecture

Detail of the Martyr's Monument, Algiers
Detail of the Martyr’s Monument, Algiers

Quartier Corsaire, Old Algiers / Photo Shutterstock
Quartier Corsaire, Old Algiers / Photo Shutterstock

Algeria’s architecture reflects the country’s history. Along with the remains of Roman times, there is the living example of the Kasbah of Algiers. The old city-centre dates from the 10th century and was later incorporated into an Ottoman construction dominated by a fortress overlooking the Bay of Algiers. In other parts of the city-centre of Algiers and in other urban settings, the French have left a legacy of residences and commercial and administrative buildings. The main post office of Algiers, built in the 1930s and still in use, is an example of a neo-oriental building with elaborate stylistic elements.

The destruction brought by the war of independence and the economic development following it prompted ambitious government building initiatives. Commemorating those who fought for the creation of an independent state, the Martyr’s Monument is exemplary of modern Algiers. It consists of three palm leaves forming a tower, alongside the war museum and a modern shopping centre, Riad al-Fath. Another major project is the new Great Mosque of Algiers, scheduled to be completed in 2015. Rivalling the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco, the complex on the capital’s sea-front has a capacity of 120,000 worshippers and is marked by a 265-metre minaret. After many years of planning, construction (by a Chinese company) began in the spring of 2012.

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