This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in Algeria. Algeria’s Casbah is the oldest part of the city of Algiers. It has been inhabited since at least the 6th century BC, and in the 16th century it was the capital of the famous Muslim pirate Khair-al-Din, otherwise known as “Barbarossa” or Redbeard. According to Lonely Planet, Barbarossa took control of the city after the people, sick and tired of their Spanish overlords trying to convert them to Christianity, declared themselves subjects of the Ottoman Empire and begged him to throw the Spanish out and claim the city for the Sultan.
Built on a hill that overlooks the sea, the city today is mostly residential. Although Algiers is planning to restore the area, many, many of the buildings are in disrepair and the area is quite overpopulated. Nonetheless, the twisting streets and charming ancient houses are definitely worth a visit — just be cautious and get a local guide if possible.
UNESCO placed the Casbah on the World Heritage List in 1992, saying “The Kasbah preserves very interesting traditional Arab Mediterranean houses in which the ancestral Arab lifestyle and Muslim customs have blended with other architectural traditions.”
To see the Casbah, you will need to get an Algerian visa. This can potentially be a hassle, as the Algerian visa system is somewhat arbitrary and complicated. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 passport-sized photos
- 2 Algerian visa application forms. The Algerian Embassy will not accept handwritten forms- you must download a copy of the form from the Embassy website and fill it in on your computer. The forms must be types in all caps, as well.
- A copy of your travel itinerary and hotel reservation confirmation.
- If you are visiting family in Algeria, send a letter of invitation from your host. The letter must be notarized at the city hall of the place of residence of your Algerian host.
The Algerian Embassy may also require you to send additional information such as a bank statement. Because getting an Algerian visa is somewhat complicated, many visa services simply don’t offer help with Algerian visas. However, at RushMyTravelVisa, we’re happy to help. We’ll walk you through the application process and bring your paperwork directly to the Algerian embassy for the fastest possible processing.
Apply for your Algerian visa today!