Algiers (Arabic: الجزائر, Al-Jazāʾir; French: Alger) is the capital and largest city of Algeria. In 2011, the city's population was estimated to be around 3,500,000. An estimate puts the population of the larger metropolitan city to be around 5,000,000. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria.
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.
Algiers the White; Algiers the Dazzling
|District||Sidi M'Hamed District|
|• Wali (Governor)||Abdelkader Zoukh (since 2013)|
|• City||363 km2 (140 sq mi)|
|• Metro||1,190 km2 (460 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||424 m (1,391 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||2 m (7 ft)|
|• Density||9,400/km2 (24,000/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||6,600/km2 (17,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|Area code(s)||(+213) 021|
The city's name is derived via French and Catalan Alger from the Arabic name Al-Jazā’ir (الجزائر), "The Islands". This name refers to the four former islands which lay off the city's coast before becoming part of the mainland in 1525. Al-Jazā’ir is itself a truncated form of the city's older name Jaza'ir Bani Mazghana (جزائر بني مزغانة), "The Islands of the Sons of Mazghana", used by early medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi and Yaqut al-Hamawi.
In antiquity, the Greeks knew the town as Ikosion (Greek: Ικοσιον), which was Latinized as Icosium under Roman rule. The Greeks explained the name as coming from their word for "twenty" (εικοσι, eikosi), supposedly because it had been founded by 20 companions of Hercules when he visited the Atlas Mountains during his labors. In fact, the name transcribed the Punic name ʿWYKSM, "Seagull Island", again named after the site's former islands.
A small Phoenician colony on Algiers's former islands was established and taken over by the Carthaginians sometime before the 3rd century BC. After the Punic Wars, the Romans eventually took over administration of the town, which they called Icosium. Its ruins now form part of the modern city's marine quarter, with the Rue de la Marine following a former Roman road. Roman cemeteries existed near Bab-el-Oued and Bab Azoun. The city was given Latin rights by the emperor Vespasian. The bishops of Icosium are mentioned as late as the 5th century, but the ancient town fell into obscurity during the Muslim conquest of North Africa.
The present 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.
The Peñón of Algiers, an islet in front of Algiers harbour had been occupied by the Spaniards as early as 1302. 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 Peñon and imposed a levy intended to suppress corsair activity.
In 1516, the amir of Algiers, Selim b. Teumi, invited the corsair brothers Aruj and Hayreddin Barbarossa to expel the Spaniards. Aruj came to Algiers, ordered the assassination of Selim, and seized the town and ousted the Spanish in the Capture of Algiers (1516). Hayreddin, succeeding Aruj after the latter was killed in battle against the Spaniards in the Fall of Tlemcen (1517), was the founder of the pashaluk, which subsequently became the beylik, of Algeria. Barbarossa lost Algiers in 1524 but regained it with the Capture of Algiers (1529), and then formally invited the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent to accept sovereignty over the territory and to annex Algiers to the Ottoman Empire.
Algiers from this time became the chief seat of the Barbary pirates. In October 1541 in the Algiers expedition, the King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V sought to capture the city, but a storm destroyed a great number of his ships, and his army of some 30,000, chiefly made up of Spaniards, was defeated by the Algerians under their Pasha, Hassan.
Formally part of the Ottoman Empire but essentially free from Ottoman control, starting in the 16th century Algiers turned to piracy and ransoming. Due to its location on the periphery of both the Ottoman and European economic spheres, and depending for its existence on a Mediterranean that was increasingly controlled by European shipping, backed by European navies, piracy became the primary economic activity. Repeated attempts were made by various nations to subdue the pirates that disturbed shipping in the western Mediterranean and engaged in slave raids as far north as Iceland. The United States fought two wars (the First and Second Barbary Wars) over Algiers' attacks on shipping.
Among the notable people held for ransom was the future Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes, who was captive in Algiers almost five years, and who wrote two plays set in Algiers of the period. The primary source for knowledge of Algiers of this period, since there are no contemporary local sources, is the Topografía e historia general de Argel (1612, but written earlier), published by Diego de Haedo, but whose authorship is disputed. This work describes in detail the city, the behavior of its inhabitants, and its military defenses, with the unsuccessful hope of facilitating an attack by Spain so as to end the piracy.
A significant number of renegades lived in Algiers at the time, Christians converted voluntarily to Islam, many fleeing the law or other problems at home. Once converted to Islam, they were safe in Algiers. Many occupied positions of authority, such as Samson Rowlie, an Englishman who became Treasurer of Algiers.
The city under Ottoman control was enclosed by a wall on all sides, including along the seafront. In this wall, five gates allowed access to the city, with five roads from each gate dividing the city and meeting in front of the Ketchaoua Mosque. In 1556, a citadel was constructed at the highest point in the wall. A major road running north to south divided the city in two: The upper city (al-Gabal, or 'the mountain') which consisted of about fifty small quarters of Andalusian, Jewish, Moorish and Kabyle communities, and the lower city (al-Wata, or 'the plains') which was the administrative, military and commercial centre of the city, mostly inhabited by Turkish dignitaries and other upper-class families.
In August 1816, the city was bombarded by a British squadron under Lord Exmouth (a descendant of Thomas Pellew, taken in an Algerian slave raid in 1715), assisted by Dutch men-of-war, destroying the corsair fleet harboured in Algiers.
The history of Algiers from 1830 to 1962 is bound to the larger history of Algeria and its relationship to France. On July 4, 1830, under the pretext of an affront to the French consul—whom the dey had hit with a fly-whisk when the consul said the French government was not prepared to pay its large outstanding debts to two Algerian merchants—a French army under General de Bourmont attacked the city in the 1830 invasion of Algiers. The city capitulated the following day. Algiers became the capital of French Algeria.
Many Europeans settled in Algiers, and by the early 20th century they formed a majority of the city's population. During the 1930s, the architect Le Corbusier drew up plans for a complete redesign of the colonial city. Le Corbusier was highly critical of the urban style of Algiers, describing the European district as "nothing but crumbling walls and devastated nature, the whole a sullied blot". He also criticised the difference in living standards he perceived between the European and African residents of the city, describing a situation in which "the 'civilised' live like rats in holes" whereas "the 'barbarians' live in solitude, in well-being". However, these plans were ultimately ignored by the French administration.
In 1962, after a bloody independence struggle in which hundreds of thousands (estimates range between 350,000 and 1,500,000) died (mostly Algerians but also French and Pieds-Noirs) during fighting between the French Army and the Algerian Front de Libération Nationale, Algeria gained its independence, with Algiers as its capital. Since then, despite losing its entire pied-noir population, the city has expanded massively. It now has about five million inhabitants, or 10 percent of Algeria's population—and its suburbs now cover most of the surrounding Mitidja plain.
Algiers also played a pivotal role in the Algerian War (1954–1962), particularly during the Battle of Algiers when the 10th Parachute Division of the French Army, starting on January 7, 1957, and on the orders of the French Minister of Justice François Mitterrand (who authorized any means "to eliminate the insurrectionists"), led attacks against the Algerian fighters for independence. Algiers remains marked by this battle, which was characterized by merciless fighting between FLN forces which carried out a guerrilla campaign against the French military and police and pro-French Algerian soldiers, and the French Army which responded with a bloody repression, torture and blanket terrorism against the native population. The demonstrations of May 13 during the crisis of 1958 provoked the fall of the Fourth Republic in France, as well as the return of General de Gaulle to power.
Algeria achieved independence on July 5, 1962. Run by the FLN that had secured independence, Algiers became a member of Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War. In October 1988, one year before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Algiers was the site of demonstrations demanding the end of the single-party system and the creation of a real democracy baptized the "Spring of Algier". The demonstrators were repressed by the authorities (more than 300 dead), but the movement constituted a turning point in the political history of modern Algeria. In 1989, a new constitution was adopted that put an end to the one-party rule and saw the creation of more than fifty political parties, as well as official freedom of the press.
The city became the theatre of many political demonstrations of all descriptions until 1993. In 1991, a political entity dominated by religious conservatives called the Islamic Salvation Front engaged in a political test of wills with the authorities. In the 1992 elections for the Algerian National Assembly, the Islamists garnered a large amount of support in the first round, helped by a massive abstention from disillusioned Algerian voters by the turn of events. Fearing an eventual win by the Islamists, the army canceled the election process, setting off a civil war between the State and armed religious conservatives which would last for a decade.
On December 11, 2007, two car bombs exploded in Algiers. One bomb targeted two United Nations buildings and the other targeted a government building housing the Supreme Court. The death toll was at least 62, with over two hundred injured in the attacks. However, only 26 remained hospitalized the following day. As of 2008, it is speculated that the attack was carried out by the Al Qaida cell within the city.
Indigenous terrorist groups have been actively operating in Algeria since around 2002.
Algiers has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). Its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea aids in moderating the city's temperatures. As a result, Algiers usually does not see the extreme temperatures that are experienced in the adjacent interior deserts. Algiers on average receives roughly 600 millimetres (24 in) of rain per year, the bulk of which is seen between October and April. The precipitation is very similar to coastal mediterranean Spain as opposed to the interior North African arid climate.
Snow is very rare; in 2012, the city received 100 millimetres (4 in), its first snowfall in eight years.
There are many public buildings of interest, including the whole Kasbah quarter, Martyrs Square (Sahat ech-Chouhada ساحة الشهداء), the government offices (formerly the British consulate), the "Grand", "New", and Ketchaoua Mosques, the Roman Catholic cathedral of Notre Dame d'Afrique, the Bardo Museum (a former Turkish mansion), the old Bibliothèque Nationale d'Alger—a Turkish palace built in 1799–1800—and the new National Library, built in a style reminiscent of the British Library.
The main building in the Kasbah was begun in 1516 on the site of an older building, and served as the palace of the deys until the French conquest. A road has been cut through the centre of the building, the mosque turned into barracks, and the hall of audience allowed to fall into ruin. There still remain a minaret and some marble arches and columns. Traces exist of the vaults in which were stored the treasures of the dey.
The Great Mosque (Jamaa-el-Kebir الجامع الكبير) is the oldest mosque in Algiers. It was first built by Yusuf ibn Tashfin, but reconstructed many times. The pulpit (minbar منبر) bears an inscription showing that the building existed in 1097. The minaret was built by the sultan of Tlemcen, in 1324. The interior of the mosque is square and is divided into aisles by columns joined by Moorish arches.
The New Mosque (Jamaa-el-Jedid الجامع الجديد), dating from the 17th century, is in the form of a Greek cross, surmounted by a large white cupola, with four small cupolas at the corners. The minaret is 27 metres (89 ft) high. The interior resembles that of the Grand Mosque.
The church of the Holy Trinity (built in 1870) stands at the southern end of the rue d'Isly near the site of the demolished Fort Bab Azoun باب عزون. The interior is richly decorated with various coloured marbles. Many of these marbles contain memorial inscriptions relating to the British residents (voluntary and involuntary) of Algiers from the time of John Tipton, the first English consul, in 1580 (NB Some sources give 1585). One tablet records that in 1631 two Algerine pirate crews landed in Ireland, sacked Baltimore, and enslaved its inhabitants.
The Ketchaoua mosque (Djamaa Ketchaoua جامع كتشاوة), at the foot of the Casbah, was before independence in 1962 the cathedral of St Philippe, itself made in 1845 from a mosque dating from 1612. The principal entrance, reached by a flight of 23 steps, is ornamented with a portico supported by four black-veined marble columns. The roof of the nave is of Moorish plaster work. It rests on a series of arcades supported by white marble columns. Several of these columns belonged to the original mosque. In one of the chapels was a tomb containing the bones of San Geronimo. The building seems a curious blend of Moorish and Byzantine styles.
Algiers possesses a college with schools of law, medicine, science and letters. The college buildings are large and handsome. The Bardo Museum in Tunisia holds some of the ancient sculptures and mosaics discovered in Algeria, together with medals and Algerian money.
The port of Algiers is sheltered from all winds. There are two harbours, both artificial—the old or northern harbour and the southern or Agha harbour. The northern harbour covers an area of 95 hectares (235 acres). An opening in the south jetty affords an entrance into Agha harbour, constructed in Agha Bay. Agha harbour has also an independent entrance on its southern side. The inner harbour was begun in 1518 by Khair-ad-Din Barbarossa (see History, below), who, to accommodated his pirate vessels, caused the island on which was Fort Penon to be connected with the mainland by a mole. The lighthouse which occupies the site of Fort Penon was built in 1544.
Algiers was a walled city from the time of the deys until the close of the 19th century. The French, after their occupation of the city (1830), built a rampart, parapet and ditch, with two terminal forts, Bab Azoun باب عزون to the south and Bab-el-Oued اد to the north. The forts and part of the ramparts were demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, when a line of forts occupying the heights of Bouzareah بوزريعة (at an elevation of 396 metres (1,299 ft) above the sea) took their place.
Notre Dame d'Afrique, a church built (1858–1872) in a mixture of the Roman and Byzantine styles, is conspicuously situated overlooking the sea, on the shoulder of the Bouzareah hills, 3 km (2 mi) to the north of the city. Above the altar is a statue of the Virgin depicted as a black woman. The church also contains a solid silver statue of the archangel Michael, belonging to the confraternity of Neapolitan fishermen.
Villa Abd-el-Tif, former residence of the dey, was used during the French period, to accommodate French artists, chiefly painters, and winners of the Abd-el-Tif prize, among whom Maurice Boitel, for a while of two years. Nowadays, Algerian artists are back in the villa's studios.
Algiers has a population of about 3,335,418(2012 estimate).
The ethnic distribution is 53% from an Arabic-speaking background, 44% from a Berber-speaking background and 3% foreign-born.
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.
Mohamed Ben Ali El Abbar, president of the Council of Administration of the Emirate Group EMAAR, presented five "megaprojects" to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, during a ceremony which took place Saturday, July 15, within the Palace of the People of Algiers. These projects will transform the city of Algiers and its surroundings by equipping them with a retail area and restoration and leisure facilities.
The first project will concentrate on the reorganization and the development of the infrastructures of the railway station "Aga" located in the downtown area. The ultramodern station intended to accommodate more than 80.000 passengers per day, will become a center of circulation in the heart of the grid system, surrounded by commercial offices and buildings and hotels intended for travelers in transit. A shopping centre and three high-rise office buildings rising with the top of the commercial zone will accompany the project.
The second project will not relate to the bay of Algiers and aims to revitalize the sea front. The development of the 44 km (27 mi) sea front will include marinas, channels, luxury hotels, offices, apartments of great standing, luxury stores and leisure amenities. A crescent-shaped peninsula will be set up on the open sea. The project of the bay of Algiers will also comprise six small islands, of which four of round form, connected to each other by bridges and marinas and will include tourist and residential complexes.
The third project will relate to restructuring an area of Algiers, qualified by the originators of the project of "city of wellness". El Abbar indicated to the journalists that the complex would be "agreeable for all those which will want to combine tourism and well-being or tourism and relaxation". The complex will include a university, a research center and a medical centre. It should also include a hospital complex, a care centre, a hotel zone, an urban centre and a thermal spa with villas and apartments. The university will include a medical school and a school for care male nurses which will be able to accommodate 500 students. The university campus will have the possibility of seeing setting up broad ranges of buildings of research laboratories and residences.
Another project relates to technological implantation of a campus in Sidi Abdellah, 25 km (16 mi) south-east from Algiers. This 90 hectares (222 acres) site will include shopping centres, residential zones with high standard apartments and a golf course surrounded by villas and hotels. Two other residential zones, including 1.800 apartments and 40 high standard villas, will be built on the surrounding hills.
The fifth project is that of the tourist complex Colonel Abbès, which will be located 25 km (16 mi) west from Algiers. This complex will include several retail zones, meeting places, and residential zones composed of apartments and villas with views of the sea.
Currently there is another project under construction, by the name of Algiers Medina. The first step of the project is nearly complete.
Some 20 km (12 mi) to the west of Algiers are such seaside resorts as Sidi Fredj (ex-Sidi Ferruch), Palm Beach, Douaouda, Zéralda, and the Club of the Pines (residence of State); there are tourist complexes, Algerian and other restaurants, souvenir shops, supervised beaches, and other amenities. The city is also equipped with important hotel complexes such as the hotel Hilton, El-Aurassi or El Djazair. Algiers also has the first water park in the country. The tourism of Algiers is growing but is not as developed as that of the larger cities in Morocco or Tunisia.
International schools for foreign residents include:
4 urban ropeways:
Several ongoing projects aim to solve Algiers deficit and transportation problems. A tram connecting the downtown area to Dergana is expected to open by the end of 2010. Subway lines connecting Tafourah-Large Harrach Post office-El were expected in 2008, in addition to three Regional Express Network (RER) lines: Algiers-Aga-Thenia, Algiers-Aga-Elafroun, Algiers-Aga-Zeralda. Three new cable cars, reconstruction of roads and restoration of the city station—which will accommodate the High-speed rail line connecting Annaba, Algiers and Oran—are also ongoing. Congestion control measures including new roundabouts and motorways are also being added to the city.
New residential developments aim to solve Algiers current housing shortage.
Algiers is the sporting centre of Algeria. The city has a number of professional clubs in the variety of sports, which have won national and international titles. Among the sports facilities within the city, there is an enormous sporting complex – Complex of OCO – Mohamed Boudiaf. This includes the Stade 5 Juillet 1962 (capacity 80,000), a venue for athletics, an Olympic swimming pool, a multisports room (the Cupola), an 18-hole golf course, and several tennis courts.
The following major sporting events have been held in Algiers (not-exhaustive list):
Major association football club based in Algiers include:
Algiers is twinned with:
Algiers has cooperation agreements with:
In addition, many of the wards and cities within Algiers maintain sister-city relationships with other foreign cities.
Algeria ( (listen); Arabic: الجزائر al-Jazā'ir, Algerian Arabic الدزاير al-dzāyīr; French: Algérie), officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (Arabic: الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية), is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, the world's largest Arab country, and the largest in Africa. Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory, Mauritania, and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes (counties). It has the highest human development index of all non-island African countries.
Ancient Algeria has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Idrisid, Aghlabid, Rustamid, Fatimids, Zirid, Hammadids, Almoravids, Almohads, Spaniards, Ottomans and the French colonial empire. Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria.
Algeria is a regional and middle power. It supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, and energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in Africa, while it has the 9th largest reserves of natural gas. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has one of the largest militaries in Africa and the largest defence budget on the continent; most of Algeria's weapons are imported from Russia, with whom they are a close ally. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United Nations and is a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union.
On 2 April 2019, president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned after nearly 20 years in power, following pressure from the country’s army after mass protests against Bouteflika's campaign for a fifth term.Algiers, New Orleans
Algiers is a section of New Orleans, the only Orleans Parish community located on the West Bank of the Mississippi River. Algiers is known as the 15th Ward, one of the 17 Wards of New Orleans. The neighborhood became the birthplace of Jazz as it was once home to many of the early African American Jazz artists in the early 1900s. This ward is the biggest of all 17 wards and is considered a historic piece of land to the History of New Orleans.Algiers 1 University
The University of Algiers Benyoucef Benkhedda (Arabic:جامعة الجزائر – بن يوسف بن خـدة ) is a university located in Algiers, Algeria. It was founded in 1909 and is organized into seven faculties.Algiers Province
Algiers (Arabic: ولاية الجزائر Wilāyat al-Jazāʼir, French: Wilaya d'Alger) is a province (wilayah) in Algeria, named after its capital, Algiers, which is also the national capital. It is adopted from the old French département of Algiers and has a population of about 3 million. It is the most densely populated province of Algeria, and also the smallest by area.Algiers expedition (1541)
The 1541 Algiers expedition occurred when Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire attempted to lead a fleet against the Ottoman Empire's stronghold of Algiers, in modern Algeria. Largely because of stormy weather, the expedition was a failure.Algiers putsch of 1961
The Algiers putsch (French: Putsch d'Alger or Coup d'État d'Alger), also known as the Generals' putsch (Putsch des généraux), was a failed coup d'état to press French President Charles de Gaulle not to abandon French Algeria, along with French people and pro-French Arabs living there. Organised in French Algeria by retired French army generals Maurice Challe (former commander-in-chief in French Algeria), Edmond Jouhaud (former Inspector General of the French Air Force), André Zeller (former Chief of staff of the French Army) and Raoul Salan (former commander-in-chief in French Algeria), it took place from the afternoon of 21 April to 26 April 1961 in the midst of the Algerian War (1954–62).The organisers of the putsch were opposed to the secret negotiations that French Prime Minister Michel Debré's government had started with the anti-colonialist National Liberation Front (FLN). Gen. Raoul Salan stated that he joined the coup without concerning himself with its technical planning; however, it has always been considered a four-man coup d'état, or as de Gaulle famously put it, "un quarteron de généraux en retraite" (a handful of retired generals / generals in retirement).
The coup was to come in two phases: an assertion of control in French Algeria's major cities Algiers, Oran and Constantine. The metropolitan operation would be led by Col. Antoine Argoud, with French paratroopers descending on strategic airfields. The commanders in Oran and Constantine, however, refused to follow Challe's demand that they join the coup. At the same time information about the metropolitan phase came to Prime Minister Debré's attention through the intelligence service.
On 22 April all flights and landings were forbidden in Parisian airfields, and an order was given to the army to resist the coup "by all means". The following day, President Charles de Gaulle made a famous speech on television, dressed with his 1940s general's uniform (he was 70 years old and long retired from the army) ordering the French people and army to help him.Barbary Coast
The term Barbary Coast (also Barbary, Berbery or Berber Coast) was used by Europeans from the 16th century to the early 19th to refer to the coastal regions of North Africa inhabited by Berber people. Today this land is part of the modern nations of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.
The English term "Barbary" (and its European varieties: Barbaria, Berbérie, etc.) could refer to all the Berber lands whether coastal or not, as seen in European geographical and political maps published during the 17th–20th centuries.The name derives from the Berber people of North Africa, from Greek Bàrbaroi (Βάρβαροι) and the Arabic Barbar ( بربر ), meaning "barbaric". In the West, the name commonly evoked the Barbary pirates and Barbary slave traders based on that coast—who attacked ships and coastal settlements in the Mediterranean Sea and eastern North Atlantic Ocean, and captured and traded slaves or goods from Europe, America and sub-Saharan Africa. These actions finally provoked the Barbary Wars of the early 19th century.Barbary pirates
The Barbary pirates, sometimes called Barbary corsairs or Ottoman corsairs, were Ottoman and Maghrebi pirates and privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Salé, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast, a term derived from the name of its ethnically Berber inhabitants. Their predation extended throughout the Mediterranean, south along West Africa's Atlantic seaboard and into the North Atlantic as far north as Iceland, but they primarily operated in the western Mediterranean. In addition to seizing merchant ships, they engaged in Razzias, raids on European coastal towns and villages, mainly in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal, but also in the British Isles, the Netherlands, and as far away as Iceland. The main purpose of their attacks was to capture Christian slaves for the Ottoman slave trade as well as the general Arab slavery market in North Africa and the Middle East.While such raids had occurred since soon after the Muslim conquest of Iberia, the terms "Barbary pirates" and "Barbary corsairs" are normally applied to the raiders active from the 16th century onwards, when the frequency and range of the slavers' attacks increased. In that period Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli came under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire, either as directly administered provinces or as autonomous dependencies known as the Barbary States. Similar raids were undertaken from Salé and other ports in Morocco.
Barbary corsairs captured thousands of merchant ships and repeatedly raided coastal towns. As a result, residents abandoned their former villages of long stretches of coast in Spain and Italy. Between 100,000 and 250,000 Iberians were enslaved by these raids.The raids were such a problem coastal settlements were seldom undertaken until the 19th century. Between 1580 and 1680 corsairs were said to have captured about 850,000 people as slaves and from 1530 to 1780 as many as 1,250,000 people were enslaved. However, these numbers have been questioned by the historian Peter Earle. Some of these corsairs were European outcasts and converts (renegade) such as John Ward and Zymen Danseker. Hayreddin Barbarossa and Oruç Reis, Turkish Barbarossa Brothers, who took control of Algiers on behalf of the Ottomans in the early 16th century, were also notorious corsairs. The European pirates brought advanced sailing and shipbuilding techniques to the Barbary Coast around 1600, which enabled the corsairs to extend their activities into the Atlantic Ocean. The effects of the Barbary raids peaked in the early to mid-17th century.
Long after Europeans had abandoned oar-driven vessels in favor of sailing ships carrying tons of powerful cannon, many Barbary warships were galleys carrying a hundred or more fighting men armed with cutlasses and small arms. The Barbary navies were not battle fleets. When they sighted a European frigate, they fled.The scope of corsair activity began to diminish in the latter part of the 17th century, as the more powerful European navies started to compel the Barbary States to make peace and cease attacking their shipping. However, the ships and coasts of Christian states without such effective protection continued to suffer until the early 19th century. Following the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15, European powers agreed upon the need to suppress the Barbary corsairs entirely and the threat was largely subdued. Occasional incidents occurred, including two Barbary wars between the United States and the Barbary States, until finally terminated by the French conquest of Algiers in 1830.Bombardment of Algiers (1816)
The Bombardment of Algiers (27 August 1816) was an attempt by Britain and the Netherlands to end the slavery practices of Omar Agha, the Dey of Algiers. An Anglo-Dutch fleet under the command of Admiral Lord Exmouth bombarded ships and the harbour defences of Algiers.
There was a continuing campaign by various European navies and the American navy to suppress the piracy against Europeans by the North African Barbary states. The specific aim of this expedition, however, was to free Christian slaves and to stop the practice of enslaving Europeans. To this end, it was partially successful, as the Dey of Algiers freed around 3,000 slaves following the bombardment and signed a treaty against the slavery of Europeans. However, this practice did not end completely until the French conquest of Algeria.Capture of Algiers (1516)
The Capture of Algiers in 1516 was accomplished by the Ottoman brothers Oruç and Hayreddin Barbarossa against Sālim al-Tūmī, the ruler of the city of Algiers.Capture of Peñón of Algiers (1529)
The Capture of Peñón of Algiers was accomplished when the beylerbey of Algiers Hayreddin Barbarossa took a fortress (called Peñón of Algiers) in a small islet facing the Algerian city of Algiers from the Habsburg Spaniards.French Algeria
French Algeria (French: Alger to 1839, then Algérie afterwards; unofficially Algérie française, Arabic: الجزائر المستعمرة), also known as Colonial Algeria, began in 1830 with the invasion of Algiers and lasted until 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France.
One of France's longest-held overseas territories, Algeria became a destination for hundreds of thousands of European immigrants known as colons and, later, as pieds-noirs. However, the indigenous Muslim population remained a majority of the territory's population throughout its history. Gradually, dissatisfaction among the Muslim population with its lack of political and economic status fueled calls for greater political autonomy, and eventually independence from France. Tensions between the two population groups came to a head in 1954, when the first violent events began of what was later called the Algerian War. The war concluded in 1962, when Algeria gained independence following the March 1962 Evian agreements and the July 1962 self-determination referendum.
During its last years of existence, French Algeria was the founding member state of the United Nations, NATO and the European Economic Community (later the European Union).Houari Boumediene Airport
Houari Boumediene Airport (Arabic: مطار هواري بومدين الدولي, French: Aéroport d'Alger Houari Boumédiène) (IATA: ALG, ICAO: DAAG), also known as Algiers Airport or Algiers International Airport, is an international airport serving Algiers, the capital of Algeria. It is located 9.1 NM (16.9 km; 10.5 mi) east southeast of the city.
The airport is named after Houari Boumediene, a former president of Algeria. Dar El Beïda, the area at which the airport is located, was known as Maison Blanche (White House), and the airport is called Maison Blanche Airport in much of the literature about the Algerian War of Independence. The Société de Gestion des Services et Infrastructures Aéroportuaires (SGSIA), more commonly known as "Airport of Algiers", is a Public Company established on 1 November 2006 to manage and operate the airport. The SGSIA has 2,100 employees.Invasion of Algiers in 1830
The Invasion of Algiers in 1830 was a large-scale military operation by which the Kingdom of France, ruled by Charles X, invaded and conquered the Ottoman Regency of Algiers. Algiers had been a province of the Ottoman Empire since the Capture of Algiers in 1529 by Hayreddin Barbarossa.
A diplomatic incident in 1827, the so-called Fan Affair (Fly Whisk Incident) served as a pretext to initiate a blockade against the port of Algiers. After three years of standstill and a more severe incident in which a French ship carrying an ambassador to the dey with a proposal for negotiations was bombarded, the French determined that more forceful action was required. Charles X was also in need of diverting attention from turbulent French domestic affairs that culminated with his deposition during the later stages of the invasion in the July Revolution.
The invasion of Algiers began on 5 July 1830 with a naval bombardment by a fleet under Admiral Duperré, and a landing by troops under Louis Auguste Victor de Ghaisne, comte de Bourmont. The French quickly defeated the troops of Hussein Dey, the Ottoman ruler, but native resistance was widespread. This resulted in a protracted military campaign, lasting more than 45 years, to root out popular opposition to the colonisation. The so-called "pacification" was marked by resistance of figures such as Ahmed Bey, Abd El-Kader and Lalla Fatma N'Soumer.
The invasion marked the end of several centuries of Ottoman rule in Algeria and the beginning of French Algeria. In 1848, the territories conquered around Algiers were organised into three départements, defining the territories of modern Algeria.MC Alger
Mouloudia Club d'Alger (Arabic: نادي مولودية الجزائر), referred to as MC Alger or MCA for short, is an Algerian football club based in Algiers. The club was founded in 1921 and its colours are red, green and white. Their home stadium, the Stade 5 Juillet 1962, has a capacity of 65,000 spectators. They also receive their opponents in Omar Hamadi Stadium. The club is currently playing in the Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1.
Founded in 1921 as Mouloudia Chaàbia d'Alger, the club was known as Mouloudia Pétroliers d'Alger from 1977 to 1986 and changed its name to Mouloudia Club d'Alger in 1986. The club colours are red and green. They play at the Stade Omar Hamadi.
MC Alger were the first Algerian club to win a continental competition, winning the 1976 African Cup of Champions Clubs. They are one of the most successful Algerian clubs having won the domestic league 7 times, second only to JS Kabylie, and the domestic cup 7 times, third to USM Alger and ES Sétif.Operation Torch
Operation Torch (8–16 November 1942) was an Anglo–American invasion of French North Africa during the Second World War. It was aimed at reducing pressure on Allied forces in Egypt, and enabling an invasion of Southern Europe. It also provided the ‘second front’ which the Soviet Union had been requesting since it was invaded by the Germans in 1941. The region was dominated by the Vichy French, officially in collaboration with Germany, but with mixed loyalties, and reports indicated that they might support the Allied initiative. The American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commanding the operation, planned a three-pronged attack, aimed at Casablanca (Western), Oran (Center) and Algiers (Eastern), in advance of a rapid move on Tunis.
The Western Task Force encountered unexpected resistance, as well as bad weather, but Casablanca, the principal French Atlantic naval base, was captured after a short siege. The Center Task Force suffered some damage to its fleet, trying to land in shallow water, but the enemy ships were sunk or driven off, and Oran surrendered after heavy fire from British battleships. The Eastern Task Force met less opposition because the French Resistance had staged a coup in Algiers, and the Allies were able to push inland and compel surrender on the first day.
The success of Torch caused the commander of French forces in the region, Admiral Darlan, to order full co-operation with the Allies, in return for being retained as High Commissioner, with many Vichy officials keeping their jobs. But Darlan was assassinated soon after, and De Gaulle’s Free French gradually came to dominate the government.
Operation Torch was the first mass involvement of US troops in the European–North African Theatre, and saw the first major airborne assault carried out anywhere by the United States.Ottoman Algeria
The regency of Algiers (in Arabic: Al Jazâ'ir), was a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa lasting from 1515 to 1830, when it was conquered by the French. Situated between the regency of Tunis in the east and the Sharifian Empire (from 1553) in the west (and the Spanish and Portuguese possessions of North Africa), the Regency originally extended its borders from La Calle to the east to Trara in the west and from Algiers to Biskra, and after spread to the present eastern and western borders of Algeria.The Regency was governed by beylerbeys, pashas, aghas and deys, and was composed of various beyliks (provinces) under the authority of beys (vassals): Constantine in the east, Medea in the Titteri and Mazouna, then Mascara and then Oran in the west. Each beylik was divided into various outan (counties) with at their head the caïds directly under the bey. To administer the interior of the country, the administration relied on the tribes said makhzen. These tribes were responsible for securing order and collecting taxes on the tributary regions of the country. It was through this system that, for three centuries, the State of Algiers extended its authority over the north of Algeria. However, society was still divided into tribes and dominated by maraboutics brotherhoods or local djouads (nobles). Several regions of the country thus only lightly recognised the authority of Algiers. Throughout its history, they formed numerous revolts, confederations, tribal fiefs or sultanates that fought with the regency for control. Before 1830, out of the 516 political units, a total of 200 principalities or tribes were considered independent because they controlled over 60% of the territory in Algeria and refused to pay taxes to Algiers.Peñón of Algiers
Peñón of Algiers (Spanish: Peñón de Argel) was a small islet off the coast of Algiers, fortified by the Kingdom of Spain during the 16th century. The islet was connected to the African continent to form a seawall and the harbour of Algiers.The Battle of Algiers
The Battle of Algiers (Italian: La battaglia di Algeri; Arabic: معركة الجزائر, translit. Maʿraka al-Jazāʾir) is a 1966 Italian-Algerian historical war film co-written and directed by Gillo Pontecorvo and starring Jean Martin and Saadi Yacef. It is based on events by rebels during the Algerian War (1954–62) against the French government in North Africa; the most prominent being the titular Battle of Algiers, the capital of Algeria. It was shot on location and the film's score was composed by Ennio Morricone. The film was shot in a Roberto Rossellini-inspired newsreel style: in black and white with documentary-type editing to add to its sense of historical authenticity. It is often associated with Italian neorealist cinema.The film has been critically celebrated. Both insurgent groups and state authorities have considered it to be an important commentary on urban guerrilla warfare. It occupies the 48th place on the Critics' Top 250 Films of the 2012 Sight & Sound poll, as well as 120th place on Empire magazine's list of the '500 greatest movies of all time'. It was selected to enter the list of the "100 Italian films to be saved".
The film concentrates on the years between 1954 and 1957 when guerrilla fighters regrouped and expanded into the Casbah, the citadel of Algiers. Their actions were met by French paratroopers attempting to regain territory. The highly dramatic film is about the organization of a guerrilla movement and the illegal methods, such as torture, used by the colonial power to contain it. Algeria succeeded in gaining independence from the French, which Pontecorvo addresses in the film's epilogue.
A subject of socio-political controversy, the film was not screened for five years in France; it was released in 1971.
|Climate data for Algiers (Dar El Beïda international airport) 1976–2005 averages, extremes 1838–present|
|Record high °C (°F)||27.6
|Average high °C (°F)||16.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||11.1
|Average low °C (°F)||5.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−3.3
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||81.4
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||11.4||10.6||9.7||9.1||7.3||2.5||1.5||2.5||5.3||8.6||11.1||12.1||91.7|
|Average relative humidity (%)||71||66||65||62||66||66||67||65||68||66||68||68||67|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||139.5||158.2||207.7||228.0||300.7||300.0||353.4||325.5||267.0||198.4||153.0||145.7||2,777.1|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||4.5||5.6||6.7||7.6||9.7||10.0||11.4||10.5||8.9||6.4||5.1||4.7||7.6|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organization (average temperatures and precipitation, 1976–2005)|
|Source #2: Arab Meteorology Book (humidity and sun), Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)|
|Bir Mourad Raïs District|
|Bab El Oued District|
|Hussein Dey District|
|Sidi M'Hamed District|
|El Harrach District|
|Dar El Beïda District|
Capitals of Arab countries
Capitals of African states
All-Africa Games host cities