Hidden Secrets of El Atteuf, Algeria

Algeria is a vast country with lots of hidden historical sites that are great to explore. An incredible site that is a must-see is El Atteuf.

El Atteuf is located at 500 kilometers south of Algiers at the shores of the Wadi Mzam River. It is one of the four cities marking the M’Zab Pentapolis. The city is an architectural wonder and a masterpiece of town planning. El Atteuf consists of brightly painted buildings clustered around the mosque which is the highest point in the city. The El Atteuf mosque is the central feature of the city with its minaret serving as a watchtower. Houses in the city are built on a slope to avoid potential floods and are situated in a sort of concentric circles. The layout suggest communal living. This type of architecture has been an architectural inspiration to world renown architects for years! It is simply amazing how the houses can be built next to the each other without breaching the established privacy boundaries.

El Atteuf is influenced by the principles of the Ibadi, a form of Islam, known for its purism and strict organization. A must see when in the city besides the remarkable architecture is the city mosque and the federal council- Majlis Ammi Said. The area has great historical, religious and cultural significance. This is why it has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

About the author

Kevin Dyck is the founder of Mosaic North Africa and has over 11 years experience living in North African countries. He is an Arabic speaker with a passion for travelers to encounter the diverse cultures and natural beauty found throughout the North Africa region. He currently lives in and works for MNA from Tunis, Tunisia.

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