In 2009, a team excavating at Algiers’ Place des Martyrs in advance of the construction of a new Metro station uncovered a huge archaeological site beneath the square. This unexpected discovery revealed evidence of many centuries of occupation – from Roman ruins and mosaics through to a 7th-century Byzantine necropolis and the remains of an Ottoman-era mosque, all at the heart of the city.
Since then, the Algerian authorities have changed their designs for the Metro station – making it much smaller, and adding an open-air museum, where visitors will be able to view the site’s remains in situ, as well as a museum building for objects that need to be moved inside. Recently, it was announced that this museum-station would be inaugurated in November, bringing the world’s attention to the archaeological discoveries beneath Place des Martyrs and to the country’s often ignored archaeological treasures as a whole.
Such great empires as the Romans, Ottomans, and the Hammadid Dynasty each left lasting marks on Algeria’s cultural landscape.
Algeria is one of the leading tourist attraction countries in the North African region. The country has implemented some of the development strategies leading to development of modern hotels and infrastructure to promote tourism. Most of the tourists visiting Algeria come mainly from Europe and the US while the locals are also embracing domestic tourism. The country is characterized by ancient dynasty and empires with a rich traditional history that acts as major attraction sites. There are a total of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. We look at a few of the most notable ones below.
These rocky natural spans were formed over millennia by the flowing waters of a stream or other water source, which slowly eroded away the rock to create the shape of a bridge.
But are they arches or bridges?
The Natural Arch and Bridge Society, whose Indiana Jones-like members go hunting for these rock formations around the world, makes this distinction: A natural arch is made of rock, with a hole formed by natural forces, they say. A natural bridge is a type of arch, where water is the natural force making the hole.
Erosion created these magnificent structures, and erosion will eventually take them down. One such wonder was Aruba’s Natural Bridge, which was first formed by pounding surf eroding its coral limestone. The 100-foot-span gave way and collapsed in 2005. (The smaller Baby Bridge is still standing nearby.)
As Libya launches a drive to attract tourists, we look at other countries that come with FCO warnings and the travel operators that offer a chance to explore them.
Why go? Egypt’s tourism has been hammered since the 2011 revolution and the instability that followed, with many tourists and tour operators abandoning Cairo. The main tourist sites, including the Pyramids and Luxor, are more or less deserted. While Cairo and parts of the Sinai peninsula, particularly the north, should probably be avoided, it is still possible to visit the southern Sinai beach resorts.
What the Foreign and Commonwealth Office says: Advises against all travel to some parts of the country, especially North Sinai, because of the significant increase in criminal activity and recent terrorist attacks on police and security forces that have resulted in deaths.
Located 70 km from Algiers – capital of Algeria – is the coastal town of Tipaza. With vestiges of the ancient Punic and Roman civilization, the city has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Tipaza was an ancient Punic trading-post founded in the 5th century BC. The city’s name, which means “place of passage “or” stop, was also inspired by early Phoenicians. But after being conquered by Ancient Rome, it was turned into a military colony by the emperor Claudius for the conquest of the kingdoms of Mauretania.
The modern Tipaza is the capital of the Tipaza Province in Algeria. It was founded in 1857. This Berber-speaking coastal town is now famous for its sandy beaches and ancient Roman relics.
The archaeological site of Tipaza contains various relics: the remains of a Basilica, cemetery, baths and an Amphitheatre.