Martyrs' Memorial and Bois des Arcades
Marvel at the iconic memorial monument that commemorates the Algerian war for independence. The Martyrs Memorial, referred to as Maqam Al Shaheed by the locals, symbolizes the big sacrifices the Algerian people made during the war and represents the moment that transformed the country into a free country.
What does it signify?
The Algerian Revolution was a war between the Algerian National Liberation Front and France to gain independence from the European country. It lasted almost ten years, from 1954 to 1962, and it was considered a brutal fight, which still generates controversy to this day. The monument that illustrates this triumph and pays tribute to its soldiers is a must-see if you are staying in Algiers—the Algerian capital. It was officially opened in 1982 on the 20th anniversary of independence and it is a symbol of pride among its citizens. The massive structure, with a height of 92 meters, has the shape of three standing palm leaves, safeguarding the Eternal Flame. At the edge, each one has a statue of a soldier representing a stage toward independence. The three leaves join at the middle with a small tower topped with a dome at the center. Underneath the site, you'll find the Museum of El Mujahid, a crypt, and an amphitheater. Stopping by the museum is a good idea to learn more about the revolution and the war.
Make sure to take your camera because the views of the city and the bay are fantastic from up there. If you drop by in the evenings, you'll see several families, as it is a good spot preferred by the locals to sit and unwind.
Building the memorial was not an easy task. The design, produced in the Fine Arts Institute of Algiers by a team effort of three artists: painter Bachir Yelles, calligrapher Abdelhamid Skander, and polish sculptor Marian Konieczn, was quite the challenge for the Canadian company Lavalin, who commanded the project.
Built on an ancient fort at the edge of a steep cliff, this area is known for having earthquakes. The structure was made of concrete and due to its complicated geometry, it took nine months to complete. Especially difficult was the curvature of the fins.
What to do next?
After visiting the museum and the memorial, make a lunch stop in one of the restaurants in the vicinity. Afterward, you can take a walk in the Botanical Garden El-Hamma.