Algiers is the capital of Algeria. It is known as Algers in French and Al-Jazair in Arabic. It was founded by the Phoenicians, and later was destroyed by the Vandals during 5th century AD. While revived under the Berbers in the 10th century, it came under the control of the Ottoman sultan. Under Barbarossa, Algiers became a major base of the Barbary pirates for 300 years. Later, it came under French control from 1830. During World War II, Algiers was the headquarters of Allied forces in North Africa. Ultimately, Algeria became independent in 1962, and Algiers became the capital.
Since a new socialist city has been formed from the backward colonial, there are evidences of both cultures. The old Muslim section of Algiers is built on the hills and has tall, blank-walled houses and thin, twisting roads. The French section of Algiers is built nearer the harbor. This section has many plazas and broad avenues. Important buildings include the palaces and National Library, among others. Over 1.4 million people live in the city. It is the political, economic and cultural center of the country.
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