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Algiers

Algiers: Overview

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Algiers

The French, charmed by the crystalline and bright light that spreads itself throughout the land and the white shade of the buildings that climb up the hill, called it “Argel, la blanche” – Algiers, the white one –, a name that couldn’t fit better to a grand and bustling city, facing the Mediterranean and turning its back on the desert, between Morocco and Tunisia. Capital to one of the largest and richest countries in Africa, regarding its natural resources, it’s one of the largest ports in the whole continent. With more than three million inhabitants, the city is divided in two areas: the modern one, plunging itself into the shore, and the old one, Casbah, the old medina, climbing up the hill top, 120 meters above sea level.

If the legends tell that Hercules and his companions moored at Algiers’ bay, the truth is that its port always drew several people, from time immemorial. Founded by the Phoenicians as a preferential port between Carthage and Gibraltar, the Romans conquered it later on, before handing it to the Vandals and then the Byzantine, before the arrival of the Arabs in 65. Later on came the Ottomans and the Berbers and ultimately the French that, from 1830 to 1062 ruled the city and the country, until being thrown out due to a bloody independence war. Despite the civil war that was triggered in the 90’s, Algiers in a city that stills preserves its natural beauty, true historical treasures and the hospitality of a people that knows how to be welcoming.