Algeria: In Search of Mosques and Museums

Make no mistake, Algiers is a great place to visit. To visit a pirate stronghold in itself would be interesting and moreover, there were also many sights to see inside the city. The architecture, influenced by the Ottoman genius Sinan, was the best represented in the mosques of Algiers, like the Mosque of Djamaa Djedid.

Despite there being not many specific sights in Algiers, the city is quite pretty. Most of the old buildings are found in the Kasbah.

The Kasbah of Algiers is small, but in the houses towering over the narrow winding streets about 100,000 people live. The area has a long history of popular unrest. The Algerian war of independence started here. During the years that followed the annulling of the elective process the FIS was set to win, the area became rather unsafe. Foreigners and travelers were advised not to visit the Kasbah. Things seem a bit better now, and the Kasbah is still one of the most interesting parts of the city. What you do in the Kasbah is just to wander around the small streets and enjoy the medieval atmosphere.

Algiers has a few good museums that show artifacts from its long history: Roman times, Arab rulers of the middle ages and Ottoman and French times.

Museum of Antiquities

Antique mosaics, Roman glass work and sculptures and Islamic art are on display. Parc de la Liberte Hours: 9am-12 noon & 2pm-5pm daily except Friday morning and Saturday when admission is Free.

Bardo Museum

This museum has an impressive collection of indigenous artifacts from various regions of Algeria. It is housed in a beautiful Moorish style mansion. The museum features exhibits on prehistoric findings and ethnography as well as regional jewellery, costumes, leatherwork and weaponry. 3 avenue Franklin Roosevelt, at the top of rue Didouche Mourad Hours: 9am-12 noon & 2pm-5pm daily except Friday morning and Saturday.

Tlemcen was an important imperial city from the 12th to 16th centuries. It stands in the wooded foothills of the Tellian Atlas and is a pleasant retreat from the stifling heat of high summer. Sights include the Grand Mosque, the Mansourah Fortress and the Almohad ramparts.

The Grand Mosque is the oldest mosque in Algiers. It is said that this building already existed in 1018. The beautiful interior of the mosque is square and is divided into aisles by columns joined by Moorish arches.