Algeria: The Gate of the Jinn – Unveiling the Forgotten City in the Depths of the Desert

They call it ‘The Gate of the Jinn’ and the Eighth Wonder of the World. Many places around the world are shrouded in mystery, some steeped in legends, while others, despite exploration, retain an enigmatic nature. Algeria, perhaps, tops this list, boasting numerous captivating locations and picturesque islands.


One such enigma is the Algerian city of Séfar, known locally as ‘The Gate of the Jinn.’ It has also been dubbed ‘The Eighth Wonder of the World.’ Additionally, it is famous as the world’s largest gathering place for witches and demons. Considered the second most dangerous location on Earth after the Bermuda Triangle, it harbors a significant magnetic force. The United States has stated that all triangles, except for one found in the Algerian desert, are in the sea. Some even speculate that Séfar might be the lost continent of Atlantis.


Reports claim that Séfar holds the world’s largest freshwater reserves. It is also said to offer the planet’s most magnificent sunrises and sunsets. Now, let’s delve into some details about the city:

Located in the Tassili n’Ajjer mountain range, translating to ‘Plateau of Rivers’ in the heart of the Illizi desert, Séfar represents one of the oldest civilizations known to humankind. It houses a museum featuring drawings and inscriptions over 15,000 years old. UNESCO recognizes it as the world’s oldest and largest rocky city, covering an area of 89,342 square kilometers.

This city, in the far south of Algeria within the vast Algerian desert, is estimated to be about 20,000 years old. Resembling a rock forest covered in yellow and brown sand, it exudes charm in the morning, evening, and under moonlit, starry skies. No one has fully explored or uncovered its mysteries, as those who ventured inside never returned alive. The Algerian army protects the city, prohibiting entry. Even if accessible, few dare to enter. Published pictures of the city only show certain parts. The second French channel produced a program about it, capturing footage with a drone, as no one is willing to risk entering.


The only person known to have entered was the greatest magician in human history, Alastair Crowley, along with his team. Tragically, all his companions perished, while he survived. Years later, Crowley died, leaving behind a document filled with complex and unintelligible lines and drawings. No magician has deciphered its meaning, and the document is now in a museum in Britain.

Known as the City of Jinn or the City of Stones, Séfar has been classified by UNESCO as the world’s largest stone city, featuring an extensive network of caves and hidden chambers. The wall paintings depict a modern, advanced human civilization, with beings flying using aerial devices and individuals wearing diving gear underwater. These drawings illustrate climatic changes and the biodiversity of plant and animal life, predating modern technology.


The inscriptions on the city’s rocks vary. Some interpreters suggest they are ancient, predating human existence, created by jinn or extraterrestrial beings who communicated with humans through these paintings. The inscriptions cover a range of subjects, including humans, animals, plants, and celestial bodies. They detail human physical features, clothing styles from past eras, and depict animals and plants from those times. These drawings allow visitors to trace changes and adaptations made by inhabitants to withstand harsh desert conditions. The styles combine tropical, desert, and Mediterranean elements, leaving visitors astonished and curious about the creators’ lifestyles.


The most intriguing drawings depict human-like creatures flying, wearing what seem to be flying devices, and men in diving equipment. Some show individuals pulling mysterious cylindrical objects, as well as inscriptions of ships and astronauts, at a time when such technology was supposedly unknown.

Regarding resources, a European mission that visited the city discovered a freshwater reserve. The drawings indicate the area was once wet and supported a large population before natural changes led to migration and transformed the region into a barren desert.

The city of Séfar presents many mysterious puzzles, and its construction is believed to be more complex than the pyramids. Consequently, many researchers conclude that the stories about Séfar are closer to legend than reality. However, Algerian architect Dr. Atef Ahrez asserts that the artistic and historical treasures in the region are not fantasies but tangible realities.

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Ultimately, all theories and hypotheses about Séfar may hold some truth or be incorrect. As for myths and legends, they often defy rational explanation, remaining enigmatic to the human mind.

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Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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