The 8 Most Beautiful Mosques in Algeria to Visit Absolutely in 2024

Algeria, a country with thousands of years of history, is a special address on the Mediterranean. Linking desert and sea and an essential crossing point for travelers and traders to and from Africa, Europe and the Middle East, the country, with the many occupations it has experienced, is today a bottomless well of history.

And, among the rich Algerian heritage, we cannot fail to mention the mosques. More than a place of religious practice, Algerian mosques have played major roles in the history of the region and have directly or indirectly influenced many events that have allowed Algeria to become what it is today.

Here is a list of some of the oldest mosques in the country that are open to tourists.

Sidi Okba Mosque

The Mosque of Sidi Okba is a mosque located in the small town of the same name, in the wilaya of Biskra. It was built in 686 CE and is one of the oldest mosques in the greater Maghreb.

Built mainly from palm tree trunks, wood, stone, lime and plaster, its interior architectural decoration is made of metal, ceramics and wood. The mosque belongs to a large complex built around the tomb of Oqba Ibn Nafaa, a famous conqueror who came from Arabia during the period of the Islamization of North Africa.

This mosque, an architectural and religious nugget, perfectly illustrates the Medinan architectural style. Its plan is, in fact, inspired by the first mosque built in Medina. Over time, it became a cultural gathering center that trained great personalities from the Muslim world.

Sidi Ramdane Mosque

Djamâa Kasba El Kedima or Djamâa Sidi Ramadane is a mosque in the Kasbah of Algiers dating from the time of the medieval Berber dynasties. The building was built near the old primitive Berber Kasbah of the city of Algiers and its date of construction has led to the divergence of many historians. Some estimate its construction between the 5th and 6th centuries AD, which makes it potentially the oldest mosque in Algiers.

Its typical Berber architecture, with double-pitched roofs covered with tiles and a heavy square minaret, has no particular ornamental quality and thus reflects the architecture corresponding to the austere, poor and harsh setting in which the first populations of the city of Algiers prayed.

In the 15th century, the mosque changed its name, the name “Kasba Mosque” fell to be replaced by the name of a renowned sage of the time: Sidi Ramdan. Even today, the mosque is a must-see site for visitors to the Kasbah.

Sidi Bou Maiza Mosque

The Bou Maiza mosque is located in Ténès, a port city in the wilaya of Chlef. Built between the 9th and 11th centuries during the reign of the Idrisid dynasty and in a style inspired by the Great Mosque of Damascus, it is considered to be the oldest mosque in Algeria, which has remained intact despite all the centuries it has seen.

The mosque of Sidi Bou Maiza suffered a series of disasters following the earthquakes of 1980 and 1954. Thus, major works modified its initial plan. Nevertheless, it is now in a remarkable state, making it the pride of the city of Ténès as well as its inhabitants.

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Great Mosque of Nedroma

The Great Mosque of Nedroma, located in the commune of the same name in the wilaya of Tlemcen, was built in 1145 under the orders of the prince of the Berber dynasty of the Almoravids; Tachfin Ben Ali. Built of brick and stone, with a tiled roof on a wooden frame, its exterior architectural décor is designed in marble slabs and bricks. The interior decoration is made of ceramic tiles, carved wood paintings, and plaster.

Great Mosque of Tlemcen

The Great Mosque of Tlemcen was built in 1136 by the caliph of the Berber dynasty of the Almoravids; Ali Ben Youssef. Built of brick, stone and plaster, its architectural decoration includes sculpted and openwork plaster, marble as well as ceramics but also wood. This 60 m building is, alongside the Great Mosque of Nedroma and the Great Mosque of Algiers, the only monument of the entire Almoravid dynasty remaining today in Algeria.

Great Mosque of Constantine

The Great Mosque of Constantine is a historic mosque that dates back to medieval times and is located in Old Constantine.

Built on the ruins of an ancient Roman temple around the year 1135 on the orders of the Hammadid ruler Yahya ibn Abd al-Aziz, it was restored by the Bey of Constantine in 1766. In 2014, the mosque closed its doors for restoration work until 2017.

Djamaâ el Kebir

The very famous Djamâa El Kebir is one of the main mosques of Algiers of medieval times. Its construction dates back to the 6th century, when the city and the region of Algiers were still populated by the ancient Berber tribes.

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Part of the Kasbah of Algiers, the mosque has been on the Algerian national heritage list since 1967, and was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992.

This mosque of Arabic plan, emblematic of Almoravid religious architecture, is the largest and oldest mosque in Algiers to date. It was built partly on the ruins of an old Christian church. The rectangular building is wider than it is deep and covered with double tiled roofs, like all Almoravid mosques. More recently, the red tiles of its roof were covered with waterproofing rolls.

Sidi Bou Merouane Mosque

The Bou Merouane Mosque is a mosque located in the east of the country in the city of Annaba. It was built in 1033 by the Zirid ruler Al-Muizz Ben Badis, and later dedicated to the religious saint Abu Marwan, who arrived in the city of Annaba in the years 1087.

The architecture of this mosque mixes Aghlabid, Zirid, Sanhajite and finally Fatimid influences. Erected in plaster mortar, lime mortar, brick and stone, its exterior architectural decoration is designed in brick, with a few marble slabs.

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Mohamed SAKHRI
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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