Vist the Casbah in Algiers

Kasbah of Algiers (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

The Casbah in Algiers is a touch of the real culture and heritage of the country. The word originates from from the Arabic term al-qaṣabah, which you can find it written in two forms “Casbah” or “Kasbah”. This term is also equivalent to the word “alcazaba” in Spanish.

Kasbah of Algiers (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Kasbah of Algiers (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

The Casbah is the citadel (fortress) built over the ancient city of Icosium, overlooking the Mediterranean. Although it doesn’t exist anymore, the ramparts of Icosium mark that the city has been constructed on the top of a hill sloping down towards the sea and diving the city into a High Town and Low Town area. This historical monument emblematic for its Mediterranean and Ottoman architecture has a strategic location with views over the Carthaginian trading port and has been one of the most desired places to be conquered over the years.

This Algerian jewel is the home of several mosques from the 17th century among which are the Ketchaoua mosque, the Ottoman El Djedid and El Kebir being the oldest mosque in the region.

The History of the Casbah

The history of the Casbah includes invasions from the Carthaginians, various Berber tribes, Romans and Arabs. The Spanish has also made their entrance into the city as well as the British under the command of Lord Nelson. The fortress has played a key role being the home of revolutionaries during the Algerian struggle for independence (1954-1962).

The Casbah in Algiers has been officially included in the UNESCO’s world heritage list in December 1992. It is an authentic place to visit when travelling in Algiers and it will marvel you with its winding alleys, walled gardens and beautiful houses built in Ottoman style. Visitors describe their experience as being in a labyrinth of white-washed homes down a steep hillside: emerging at the bottom into the bustling food and shopping market, and then onto the boulevard in from of the harbor.

The Casbah will definitely live up to its mythic reputation as a place of danger and intrigue with its tightly packed buildings with staircases and lavishly decorated doors that do not tell what may be hidden behind.

Visiting the Casbah in Algiers

The Casbah in Algiers is filled with mystery and is awaiting your discovery. If you are interested in visiting the Casbah in Algiers, our travel experts are happy to assist you to plan an unforgettable Algeria tour.

About the author

Joshua Mok has been living in Tunisia since 2016. He has traveled extensively throughout the country, and has firsthand experience with the language, people, and culture of North Africa. It is his passion to introduce to others some of the best destinations in North Africa that he has experienced.
7 Responses
  1. Betty Pack-Crook

    Fantastic. I would die happy if I could visit Algiers and especially the Casbah, but I am 79 and travel is likely off-limits. I live in South Texas (almost always a warm place) and I wonder if Mr Mok might answer just a few questions I have. Not this minute, but in the next few weeks? I hope so. Thanks.
    Betty in Texas

    1. Joshua Mok

      Hi Betty. We would love to answer any questions you might have. We can also help you plan a private Algeria tour to visit the Casbah in Algiers plus other wonderful sites. Feel free to send us an email at info@mosaicnorthafrica.com. One of our travel experts will respond to your email within 24 hours.

    1. Hi Kathleen, welcome to our travel site. We hope the information is helpful and that our tours are of interest to you.

      Regarding the travel advisory: The majority of Algeria is ready and waiting for you to discover. The advisory itself speaks of specific parts of Algeria; not the entirety. All travels within Algeria are submitted and cleared in advance through the government. Armed guards and/or police escorts accompany tours while they are en-route during ground transportation and site visits to make sure all sites will be safe. These guards are required by the government and are there to put you at ease while you travel. In our experiences traveling in Algeria, we have not had any safety concerns and enjoyed the friendly welcome and hospitality from the local police and population in general.

      Regarding the Casbah: The historic Casbah in Algiers is definitely worth the visit with many historical sites and museums within the Casbah. The Casbah is the old walled part of Algiers. There certainly are parts that would not be accessible simply due to its age or need for renovation but people still live within the walls.

      Algeria just re-opened for tourism within the past two weeks. If you would like a private Algeria tour please contact us at: info@mosaicnorthafrica.com

  2. Salima

    The word casbah did not originate from french, it is an Arabic word means flame or peak…
    In Andalusia Spain there was some cities called Al kasbah bases on their strategic place.
    I hope that you will update your information.
    Thank you

    1. Joshua Mok

      Thank you Salima for bringing this to our attention and we updated our article.
      The word casbah indeed has Arabic origin, and the Spanish equivalent to this term is “alcazaba” which was derived from the Arabic word.

  3. Jacky

    I visited the Casbah with my grandmother, Nana, when I was a young teen in the mid 70’s. It was magical. There were cobras and amazing food and beautiful views. Mostly the people and at that time, at that age, I had no experience of bigotry or racism. We all just hung out and had fun! We rode camels into the desert! We had amazing barbecues! I found my love of African, Algerian style, food on that trip! It was colorful and peaceful and beautiful! With my many years of playing backgammon all over the world I have had cause to meet and play some people from that area and found them to be generous of spirit and intelligent and fun to spend time with. There was an amazing sense of camaraderie with our group and the people who we met there! And we found treasures that we lugged around and brought back! The clothes were cotton and comfortable and well suited for the heat! I have no idea what it is like now. I hope that it is still the magical jewel! I would love to visit again! Betty, I am from Texas too, btw! 😀😀🙏🙏❤️❤️

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