Algiers

Algiers

الجزائر

Alger
Clockwise: Buildings along the Mediterranean coast of Algiers, Martyrs Memorial, Notre-Dame d'Afrique, Ketchaoua Mosque, Casbah, the Grand Post Office and the Ministry of Finance of Algeria
Clockwise: Buildings along the Mediterranean coast of Algiers, Martyrs Memorial, Notre-Dame d'Afrique, Ketchaoua Mosque, Casbah, the Grand Post Office and the Ministry of Finance of Algeria
Nickname(s): 
Algiers the White; Algiers the Dazzling
Algiers is located in Algeria
Algiers
Algiers
Location in Algeria and Africa
Algiers is located in Africa
Algiers
Algiers
Algiers (Africa)
Coordinates: 36°45′14″N 3°3′32″E / 36°45′14″N 3°3′32″E / 36.75389; 3.05889(2011)[1][2]
 • Capital City3,415,811
 • Density9,400/km2 (24,000/sq mi)
 • Metro
7,796,923
 • Metro density6,600/km2 (17,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
Postal codes
16000–16132
Area code(s)(+213) 021
ClimateCsa

Algiers (z/ JEERZ; Arabic: الجزائر‎, romanizedAl-Jazāʾir; French: Alger) is the capital and largest city of Algeria. In 2011, the city's population was estimated to be around 3,500,000. An estimate puts the population of the larger metropolitan city to be around 5,000,000. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria.[2]

Algiers is situated on the west side of a bay of the Mediterranean Sea. The modern part of the city is built on the level ground by the seashore; the old part, the ancient city of the deys, climbs the steep hill behind the modern town and is crowned by the casbah or citadel, 122 metres (400 ft) above the sea. The casbah and the two quays form a triangle.[3]

Names

The city's name is derived via French and Catalan Alger[4] from the Arabic name al-Jazāʾir (الجزائر), "The Islands". This name refers to the four former islands which lay off the city's coast before becoming part of the mainland in 1525. Al-Jazāʾir is itself a truncated form of the city's older name Jazaʾir Banī Mazghanna (جزائر بني مزغانة), "The Islands of the Sons of Mazghana", used by early medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi and Yaqut al-Hamawi.

In antiquity, the Greeks knew the town as Ikósion (Ancient Greek: Ἰκόσιον), which was Latinized as Icosium under Roman rule. The Greeks explained the name as coming from their word for "twenty" (εἴκοσι, eíkosi), supposedly because it had been founded by 20 companions of Hercules when he visited the Atlas Mountains during his labors.[5]

Algiers is also known as el-Behdja (البهجة, "The Joyous") or "Algiers the White" (French: Alger la Blanche) for its whitewashed buildings, seen rising from the sea.