The capital city of Algeria and the most important Mediterranean port of northwest Africa. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean coast, set against forested mountains and overlooking a bay. Once one of the most romantic cities in Africa, encompassed by the legendary whitewashed Casbah, Algiers is now a major modernized city with all the metropolitan trappings.
The city, originally called Al-Jaza'ir, was established by the Berber ruler Bologhine Ibn Ziri in about AD950 and soon became an important trading centre. In ensuing centuries it fell under the influence of successive conquerors and their dynasties, including the Hafsids in the 13th and 15th centuries and the Merinids in the 14th century.