Thursday, April 21, 2011

The City of Algiers

Algiers was occupied by the French in 1830.  As French and other European settlers moved in, the city became two separate entities within one - the traditional Arab city on the hill and the European city below. In the 1930s, French architect Le Corbusier drew up plans for a redesign of Algiers, of which he said: “Here is the new Algiers. Instead of the leprous sore which had sullied the gulf and the slopes of the Sael, here stands architecture…architecture is the masterly, correct, and magnificent play of shapes in the light.” His plan was never implemented, but Brian Ackley has written an interesting article about the plans, entitled Blocking the Casbah: Le Corbusier’s Algerian Fantasy.


On March 26, 1962, at the end of the Algerian War, the street shown above became the scene of bloody riots when French soldiers opened fire on French colonists demonstrating against the French government. So many atrocities took place during the Algerian War.


Here's another view down at the docks.

5 comments:

  1. Marvelous cards, particularly the first one with that great street view.

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  2. I see the urban planning there as a BOON...I see the DOCKS...but Algiers is not a BOONDOCKS ["a rural area"]. :)
    The postcards look very "citadin" and European, at first glance.

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  3. Fantastic.
    The passage of time.

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  4. Leave it to the guy that wanted to level the entire center of Paris to build a bunch of identical giant skyscrapers, to suggest running a 14 story mega-structure across the landscape and thru a city! Take a look at the elevated freeways that destroyed any number of American cities and you get a pretty good idea of what the results would have been...

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