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1. Casbah

2. The mosques

3. Madame Afrique

4. Citadel

5. The museums

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The mosques

Djemaa el-Djedid, Algiers, Algeria

The Djemaa el-Djedid, the mosque that has been named "new" for 350 years.

Djemaa el-Djedid, Algiers, Algeria

The location of the Grand Mosque represents 3,000 years of continued religious worship.

Algeria's mosques are interesting, different styles reflect upon Algeria's national history. The one that all seem to get a chance to visit is not only conveniently located next to the harbour, it is also quite unique. Djemaa el-Djedid, means New Mosque, but this Ottoman mosque dates back to 1660. It combines Turkish styles of vaults and domes with an Andalucian minaret, but most noteworthy is the shape of its ground, with the form of a cross; nobody knows why. One popular story tells that its architect was a Christian, who was punished for just this by death.
The Djemaa el-Kebir, or Grand Mosque, has been a place of worship since the 1st millennium BCE, first used by Berbers and Phoenicians. The Romans built a temple, the Christians a church. 72 columns hold up the roof in the main prayer hall, the minbar is made from cedar wood, and was constructed in 1097. It seems probable that the mosque belongs to the same century.
The Djema Ali Bitchine from 1622 was built by an Italian forcebly converted to Islam. Its styles reflect much of Italian and Byzantine churches.
Remodelled several times, the early 17th century Djemaa Ketchoua was used as Algiers' cathedral for a full 132 years during the French era.

By Tore Kjeilen