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Alger (Algiers) Holidays Overview
The city of Algiers is the capital of North African country of Algeria. Algiers or El Alger la Blanche ("Algiers the White) as it is called for its numerous white washed buildings is located on a bay that faces the Mediterranean Sea. Algiers is also the largest city in Algeria.
The cityís history can be traced back to the times of the Phoenicians who used it as a trading post called Ikosim, later Algiers came under Roman rule though historical records indicate that Algiers was founded in 944 by Buluggin ibn Ziri, the founder of the Berber Zirid-Sanhaja. The Spaniards also had a presence in Algiers in the 13th Century when trade between Spain and Algeria flourished.
In the 15th Century, Algeria was annexed by the Ottomans and the city later on went on to become the most successful of all Barbary pirate bases in the 16th century under the notorious pirate Kheireddin Barbarossa. During the rule of the Ottomans the city was enclosed by a wall which had five entrance gates and it was at this time that the citadel known as the Casbah was constructed on the highest point of the city.
However the most defining period of Algiersís history was during the era of French rule which began in 1830 when the French colonized all of Algeria. During this time the city was divided into two main districts one which was occupied by the Europeans and the other which was occupied by the native population.
Algeria remained a French colony until 1962 when it won its independence from France after a bloody war of independence during which 1.5 million Algerians lost their lives.
After independence Algiers functioned as the political, economic and cultural of all of Algeria but the city along with the rest of the country suffered another setback during the turbulent 1990ís when a political entity called the Islamic Salvation Front rose to the forefront and challenged the rule of the authorities. This resulted in a civil war which lasted for a decade. The civil war has now ended but Algiers which was in fact named the capital of Arab culture in 2007, like the rest of Algeria continues to be threatened by stray incidents of Islamic insurgency until today.
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holidays - Top Events
Algeriaís main events are centered on the commemoration of its war of independence. The country celebrates two national days. Independence Day which is celebrated on July 5th every year , in remembrance of actual independence from France in 1962 and Revolution Day which is celebrated on November 1 every year as it commemorates the beginning of the war of independence against France in 1954.
Algiers along with the rest of Algeria is mainly inhabited by a Muslim population and it accordingly celebrates all the important Islamic festivals like Ashoura which is the 10th day of the festival of Muharram, Mouloud, the birthday of prophet Muhammad which is celebrated in March every year, Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the Ramadhan which the Muslim holy month of fasting and Eid al-Adha which marks the end of Hajj or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which is celebrated by Muslims all over the world.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like British Airways,Qantas, Air France and Lufthansa offer air links to Algiers from major Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Your travel time is however dependent on the stops that you are compelled to make though on an average you can expect to have a 30 hour journey when you choose to fly to Algiers from one of these Australian cities.
Australia does not presently have a diplomatic mission in Algeria and the Australian Embassy in France is responsible for Algeria.
Australian citizens require a visa to visit the North African country of Algeria