Makam Echahid Monument
Algeria fought the French for independence between 1954 and 1962, which was one of the most vital decolonization wars in the history of the country. It was a war that not only saw armies in action, but terrorism, torture and guerrilla warfare created a brutal conflict in which civilians suffered in their thousands. The exact number of deaths during this vicious war is unclear, with some estimating that the total stood at hundreds of thousands, with many wounded during this time. The war and those who sacrificed their lives for freedom are remembered in breathtaking monuments such as the Makam Echahid.
Fighting for freedom is a worthy cause, but it is always marred by the loss of life that occurs during a war. Algerians gathered up their courage and fought valiantly for their right to be independent, and when looking at the monuments that stand as a reminder, one cannot shake the feeling of sadness and appreciation for those who paved the way to freedom. The massive size of the Makam Echahid takes most visitors’ breaths away. Located in Algiers, this monument is by far the most popular attraction in the city. It was erected in the 1980s, and consists of three huge palm fronds constructed from concrete, which start wide apart at the base, and come together at the top of the monument. Makam Echahid stands ninety-two meters into the sky. Each frond is a representation of the features that have developed the country, namely its industry, is fascinating culture and its successful agricultural sector.
Visitors are able to walk around and underneath this colossal monument, which name means “the place where the martyr rests”. It is also referred to as the “symbol of the unknown soldier”, and is dedicated to the fallen heroes of the war for independence. The Bois des Arcades, located near to the Makam Echahid, offers shaded areas for relaxation and also has magnificent views of the monument. It is an attraction that is of great significant historical value to Algeria, and is a recommended site in the city of Algiers.