Pictures of Algiers

A getaway in the Algerian capital

Photos of Algiers on a sunny day

During my last trip to Algeria I’ve took some pictures of Algiers. I did street photography in many European cities, but in Algiers didn’t really had the chance until now. First because I moved to Europe, the distance didn’t help. But also because of certain fears. During my previous visits I’ve always stopped my self from doing it because I thought it was dangerous, that people were not open and that it was going to attract me the wrath of the authorities … The frustration and the look of Algiers made me more brave this time. I headed to the famous stairs of the street of Dr Saadane and I began a long, surprising and pleasant photographic stroll in the streets of Algiers. Armed with my faithful D700, I fixed the narrow streets of Algiers, “north Africa’s white lady” under the wide angle of my 24mm as well as some tight portraits through my 50mm.

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To place Audin and surroundings

Going up the boulevard Didouche Mourad, from the tunnel of the faculties to the sacred heart (CathĂ©drale du SacrĂ©-CƓur d’Alger) observing the ballets of people, mixing in a wide range of dress styles and social class. From the conservative to the modern style, from well-off to modest people, a sign of a very heterogeneous society where everyone lives together.

On the way down, I went through rue Meissonier (now rue Ferhat Boussaad) the famous shopping street teeming with people, animated by the calls of the sellers and punctuated by the horns of motorists who struggle to keep their patience while trying to make their way between pedestrians. It is Algeria, it is hot in this month of March, it is Saturday, newly second day of the weekend. Meissonier lives!

Around the Great post of Algiers

It is 1 pm, I stopped at a terrace of cafes under the central facade to blow, after having dined a few hours. I was looking at the photos of Algiers that I took and I leave in my thoughts, my memories of Algiers, more than ten years ago, when I was studying there. I discovered the capital of my country, alone far from home, I tasted to the anonymity that only a metropolis can offer you. Caught up by the noise of the cars I caught myself contemplating the facades of the Haussmann buildings of Algiers Center, questioning me about its tenants before and after the colonization and how had to make the transition, if there were still memories or other vestiges Of another life. Algiers is full of stories!

Emir Abdelkader Square, Milk bar, Third World Bookshop …

Lower down, the large post office with its neo-Moorish architecture which was once the site of an Anglican Church. Architectural beauty, the great post office of Algiers (La grande poste d’Alger) was transformed in 2014 into a museum on the history of the post and telecommunications in Algeria. From there, in the direction of Emir Abdelkader square, which runs through the streets saturated with cars rolling under the shadow of the ficus tree, passing through the Milk bar and the famous Third World bookshop (Librairie du tiers monde). Feasting of these scenes of the Algerian life, I didn’t fail taking pictures of Algiers.

Popular districts of Algiers

Going up the perpendicular street to the former rue d’Isly, I began to sink into the popular districts of Algiers center. Pleasantly surprised by the welcome and curiosity of the “children” of the district “welad el houma” systematically asking them if it don’t bother them taking pictures of the district and why not some of them. My way to thank them but also to have their blessing. “Bien sure kho!” (Of course Bro’) “Souar bladek! Souar Alger!” (Take photos of your country, take pictures of Algiers ! ). This allowed me to discuss issues such as the history of the neighborhood and also the Algerian society.

On this day of the USMA-MCA soccer derby, the horns of the fans resounded in the narrow streets of Algiers, streets adorned sometimes with red and green flags symbol of the “Mouloudiens” sometimes of red and black flags symbol of the Usmists. This bi-annual rendezvous where the two mythical clubs of Algiers clash for 90 minutes around a ball while the enthusiastic supporters of the two camps tear each other during a game but always end up being reconciles the next day.

Walking through the streets of the Cadix and Soustara neighborhood, I followed the narrow streets and the famous staircases of Algiers until I lost myself. Later my photographer friend Mestich took me on the heights of the Casbah, towards Bab El Djedid to make pictures of Algiers and its Casbah …. But I will tell you later about it.