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Algiers

french, city and ancient

ALGIERS, al-jerz (French, Alger), Al geria, a city and seaport on the Mediterranean, capital of the French colony of Algeria, situ ated on the west side of the Bay of Algiers. It stands on the slope of a hill facing the sea, from which its array of white houses, rising in the form of an amphitheatre, presents an im posing appearance. The old town, which is the higher, has an Oriental aspect. Its crowning point is the Casbah, or ancient fortress of the deys, about 500 feet above the sea. Its streets are narrow, crooked and dirty. The houses are strong,prison-like edifices, with iron-grated slits for windows, looking into central quadrangles entered by a low doorway. The modern town, which occupies the lower slope and spreads along the shore, is handsomely built, with broad streets adorned with arcades and having elegant squares. It contains the government buildings, the barracks, the commercial warehouses, the residences of the governor-general and the gov ernment officials, and the superior courts of justice. The Place du Gouvernement and the

Place Bresson here are the two chief squares of the city. The fine Boulevard de la Republique runs along the sea-front, overlooking the bay and harbor. Algiers was the Icosium colony of the ancient Roman empire and has a varied his tory. It is the seat of an archbishop, and has a cathedral and a number of churches (includ ing an English church) and mosques. There are schools of law, medicine, science and letters, and a lyceum; also a library and museum. It is defended by sea-batteries and other works, and is an important naval station, prominent as a base for Mediterranean operations during the European War. The French at great expense improved the port and provided docks. Pop. 172,400.