Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Algiers, historic city

Algiers is Algeria's oldest, largest, and most historic city. Phoenicians settled there approximately 3,000 years ago. For almost 500 years Algiers was a colonial capital under Turkish and French rule before becoming the national capital after independence. With a population of 1.5 million (1987), Algiers (in French, Alger; in Arabic, Al-Jazair) is Algeria's largest city and chief port.
Algiers was known to the Romans as Icosium. After being razed several times by invaders, the present site was settled in the 10th century by the Berbers. Until the 18th century, Algiers was a home base for Barbary pirates, who terrorized ships on the Mediterranean. In 1516, Algiers came under Turkish control. The French captured the city in 1830, and it became the colonial headquarters of France until Algeria's independence in 1962.
During World War II, Algiers served as a major headquarters for the Allies, and for a brief period was the provisional capital of Free France.

in Cultures of the World: Algeria, by Falaq Kagda, Marshall Cavendish, Benchmark Books, New York, 2nd edition, 1997.

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