UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Algeria
By: Nouha Elyazidi / Arab America Contributing Writer
Algeria is a North African country with the Mediterranean Sea to its North and the Sahara Desert to its south. Algeria has a rich history and vibrant culture, and this is demonstrated through its sites found on the UNESCO world heritage list. The UNESCO world heritage list is a list of historically significant landmarks and natural sites in countries around the globe. Algeria currently has 6 unique and beautiful sites listed so let’s explore them!
Al Qal’a of Beni Hammad
Al Qal’a of Beni Hammad is an archeological site on the mountainous region of Djebel Maadid and was originally established in the year 1007 by the Hammadid emirs of the Hammadid Dynasty. The Hammadid Dynasty ruled north Algeria for over 100 years and during their reign, they built incredible buildings in this city as it served as their first. Qal’a was a thriving fortified city with an enormous palace, stunning mosque, and gardens and pavilions. Despite the destruction to the city following the conquest of Qala by the Almohad Empire in 1152, much of the city remains, such as the walls, mosque, and palace.
Tipasa lies on the Medetarrain coast and served a trading post that had been conquered by the Romans and was inhabited by a variety of peoples, including Phoenicians, Romans, Natives, and Byzantines. Tipasa is home to two archeological parks and is unique because of the intercultural architecture and culture it possesses. Tipasa is home to the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania, which is a monument that was used to bury important figures, estimated to have been built in 3 BC!
Located high in the Aures mounts of Algeria, Timgad is an archeological site from the time of Roman presence in North Africa. It was built by Emperor Trajan in 100 A.D. as. a military colony that rapidly exploded into a thriving city that features temples, markets, baths, private residences, and a Capitolium. One of the most famous features of Timgad is the stone construction and arches architecture. The city became inhabited after the Arab invasion during the 8th century.
Kasbah of Algiers
The Kasbah of Algiers of a coastal media (Islamic city) that is home to remnants of Ottman’s presence in North Africa. The media was established in the 4th century BC and is home to mosques, citadels, and palaces. Today, it is home to approximately 50,000 people and still poses elements of Ottoman culture such as hammams (bathhouses) and Ottoman-style housing.
M’Zab Valley was created in the 10th century by the Ibadites. The reason M’Zab Valley is so impressive is because of its practical design and architecture. An example of the efficiency of the designs of the valley was that the Mosque minarets served as watchtowers and the mosques served as protection fortresses because they were hiding places for defense weapons and foods.
Djemila is a site of Roman ruins in Algeria and is home to temples, basilicas, arches, and Roman-style homes. Dejemila was established as a colony around 96 AD and is a mountainous area purpose for protection for the city.
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