The largest country in the continent of Africa, Algeria has a diverse landscape and lots to offer travellers. Algeria has many charming cities with winding streets and stunning architecture, Mediterranean coast, lush landscapes and roman ruins to rival anywhere in the world. The main attraction in the country however is the Saharan region where the never-ending sand and the mysterious and lively cities are enough to indulge even the most seasoned traveller’s imagination. The Sahara is the second largest desert in the world.
Beni Hammad Fort
Beni Hammad Fort also called Al Qal’a of Beni Hammad (in Arabic :قلعة بني حماد) is a fortified palatine city in Algeria. Now in ruins, in the 11th century, it served as the first capital of the Hammadid dynasty. It is in the Hodna Mountains northeast of M’Sila, at an elevation of 1,418 metres (4,652 ft), and receives abundant water from the surrounding mountains. Beni Hammad Fort is near the town of Maadid (aka Maadhid), about 225 kilometres (140 mi) southeast of Algiers, in the Maghreb. In 1980, it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and described as “an authentic picture of a fortified Muslim city”.
The town includes a 7-kilometre (4 mi) long line of walls. Inside the walls are four residential complexes, and the largest mosque built in Algeria after that of Mansurah. It is similar in design to the Grand Mosque of Kairouan, with a tall minaret, 20 metres (66 ft). Excavations have brought to light numerous terracotta, jewels, coins and ceramics testifying to the high level of civilization under the Hammadid dynasty. Also among the artifacts discovered are several decorative fountains using the lion as a motif. The remains of the emir’s palace, known as Dal al-Bahr, include three separate residences separated by gardens and pavilions.
Djémila (in Arabic :جميلة, the Beautiful one, Latin: Cuicul or Curculum), formerly Cuicul, is a small mountain village in Algeria, near the northern coast east of Algiers, where some of the best preserved Berbero-Roman ruins in North Africa are found. It is situated in the region bordering the Constantinois and Petite Kabylie (Basse Kabylie).
In 1982, Djémila became a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique adaptation of Roman architecture to a mountain environment. Significant buildings in ancient Cuicul include a theatre, two fora, temples, basilicas, arches, streets, and houses. The exceptionally well preserved ruins surround the forum of the Harsh, a large paved square with an entry marked by a majestic arch.
Casbah of Algiers
Casbah of Algiers, (in Arabic :قصبة الجزائر}, qaṣba, meaning citadel (fortress)) is specifically the citadel of Algiers in Algeria and the traditional quarter clustered around it. More generally, a kasbah is the walled citadel of many North African cities and towns. The name made its way into English from French in the late 19th century (the Oxford English Dictionary states 1895), and often is spelled “kasbah,” but also “casbah.”
M’Zab Valley, or Mzab, (Mozabite Aghlan, is a natural region of the northern Sahara Desert in Ghardaïa Province, Algeria. It is located 600 km (370 mi) south of Algiers and there are approximately 360,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate).
The Mozabites (“At Mzab”) are a branch of a large Berber tribe, the Iznaten, which lived in large areas of middle southern Algeria. Many Tifinagh letters and symbols are engraved around the Mzab Valley.
After the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb, the Mozabites became Muslims of the Mu’tazili school. After the fall of the Rostemid state, the Rostemid royal family with some of their citizens chose the Mzab Valley as their refuge. However, the Rostemids were Ibadi and sent a preacher (Abu Bakr an-Nafusi) who successfully converted the indigenous Mozabites.
Timgad, (called Thamugas or Thamugadi in old Berber) was a Roman-Berber town in the Aurès Mountains of Algeria. It was founded by the Emperor Trajan around AD 100. The full name of the town was Colonia Marciana Ulpia Traiana Thamugadi. Trajan commemorated the city after his mother Marcia, eldest sister Ulpia Marciana, and father Marcus Ulpius Traianus.
Located in modern-day Algeria, about 35 km east of the town of Batna, the ruins are noteworthy for representing one of the best extant examples of the grid plan as used in Roman city planning.
In the former name of Timgad, Marciana Traiana Thamugadi, the first part – Marciana Traiana – is Roman and refers to the name of its founder, Emperor Trajan and his sister Marciana. The second part of the name – Thamugadi – “has nothing Latin about it”. Thamugadi is the Berber name of the place where the city was built, to read Timgad plural form of Tamgut, meaning “peak”, “summit”.
Tipasa, was a colonia in Roman province Mauretania Caesariensis, nowadays called Tipaza, and located in coastal central Algeria. Since 2002, it has been declared by UNESCO a “World Heritage Site”. There was another city with the same name: Tipasa in Numidia
Sometimes Tipasa is called “Tipasa in Mauretania”, because there was another Tipasa in Roman Africa. Indeed, another town called Tipasa was located in the Roman province of Numidia (the reason why it is referred to as “Tipasa in Numidia”, is in order to distinguish it from “Tipasa in Mauretania”). This second Tipasa is located in what is now Constantine Province, Algeria, 88 km (55 mi) due south of Annaba, 957 m above the sea: it is now called Tifesh. The chief ruin is that of an extensive fortress, the walls of which are 3 metres thick.
Culturel parc of Tassili
Tassili n’Ajjer, is a heavily eroded sandstone rock formation in the Algerian section of the Sahara Desert, situated on a vast plateau, that encompasses south-east Algeria, western Libya and northern Niger. It features over 300 rock arches, dense clusters of eroded sandstone rock pillars and steep cliffs and gorges where water pools permanently at the surface. Tassili n’Ajjer covers an area of over 72,000 km2 (28,000 sq mi).