Discover Algeria

Djemaa Ketchoua


25 May 2019

No Comments

Djemaa Ketchoua

Another ancient building is the Djemaa Ketchoua mosque with the most tumultuous history in central Algiers. Many believe that it was constructed around the beginning of the 17th century.

Its name means place or plateau of goats; a reminder of the time when this space – between the port and citadel – was open ground. In 1794 Hassan Pasha completely remodeled the mosque when he builds his palace next to it.

The process of building the mosque was commemorated by a long inscription that begins with the words ‘What a beautiful mosque!’ Because of the remodeling done by the French, the mosque lost its cultural beauty and with its high steps, three-tiered minarets and part-tiled walls it looks like an unusual building in the middle of traditional buildings. A plaque to the left of the great doors notes that on 5 July 1830 across was placed on top of the mosque, marking the start of more than 130 years of French occupation.

During this time it served as the city’s cathedral and one of the centerpieces of the French-held city. With sculptors and decorations from French artists. Emperor Napoleon III took lodge there in 1860, and the composer Saint-Saëns played the organ here in 1873. On 5 July 1962, 132 years after it was converted to a cathedral, the building became a mosque again just 2 days after General de Gaulle recognized Algeria as a sovereign country.