Algiers (Arab. Al-Jezireh, the island, because there was originally an island before the city, which has been joined by a mole), a seaport and city of X. Africa, in lat. 36° 47' N., lon. 3°.4' E. It was formerly the capital of a pashalic of the same name, and dependent on the Ottoman empire, but since 1830 has been the capital of the French colony of Algeria. The population, which under the Turks was estimated at 100,000, has since been subject to great fluctuations. In 1838 it was 30,395; in 1846, 70,582; in 1851, 50,111; in 1862, 58,315; in 1866, 52,614; and at present it is estimated at 60,000. Of these, 16,000 are French and 6,000 Jews. The Jews have since the occupation of the country by the French become the most prosperous part of the population, owning most of the land in the city. The natives manufacture arms, leather, silk stuffs, jewels, etc. The town is built in the form of an amphitheatre, on the N. slope of Mount Boujarin, which rises 500 feet above the bay, and as seen from a distance presents a very imposing and picturesque appearance, heightened by the dazzling whiteness of its houses, which rise in terraces on the side of the hill. In consequence of earthquakes they are seldom built more than one story above the basement.

On the summit and overlooking the town stands the Casbah, the castle in which the last dey lived. Its walls are 20 feet thick, and the interior consists of a large courtyard and some four or five stories of porches arched and pillared after the twisted spiral Byzantine order. It also contains several other houses and gardens adorned with sycamores and bananas. The city is enclosed by a wall 30 feet high and 12 thick, with towers and batteries. Each side of the harbor is defended by a strong battery. Many of the streets of Algiers, like those of other Moorish towns, are narrow and tortuous, but in the lower part of the city arcades have been built and the streets widened, giving the place a French aspect. All the streets now have French names. Algiers has a lighthouse, arsenal, dockyard, many mosques, banks, theatres, fountains, baths, factories, hotels, several synagogues, a handsome cathedral and three other Roman Catholic churches, a Protestant chapel, six colleges, an episcopal seminary, a government house, exchange, bishop's palace, and public library. In 1838 an episcopal see was established in Algiers, which in 1867 was elevated to an archbishopric. It is also the seat of a Protestant consistory, of an academy, a lyceum, an Arabic-French college, a museum, and other literary institutions.

The governor general of the French possessions in Africa and other chief functionaries reside here. The port is a sheltered body of water of about 220 acres. It was first formed by Barbarossa in 1530; the French government have spent upon it upward of 20,000,-000 francs. In 1862 a railroad was built between Algiers and Blidah, 30 m., and a telegraph cable was laid between Algiers and France. Algiers has become the entrepot of four fifths of the trade of the colony. Steam vessels start for this port from Toulon and Marseilles, and the passage is made in 48 or 50 hours. The commerce between France and Algiers is regarded as a coasting trade and reserved to vessels of French register only. The imports are chiefly coffee, sugar, wine, spirits, and cloths; and the exports, grain, wool, hides, tobacco, iron and copper ore, and coral.

Algiers. from the Parade Ground.

Algiers. from the Parade Ground.