Algiers

This first episode explores the capital of Algiers. Its architecture – both French and Neo Mauresque, as epitomised by the glorious Grande Poste post office building, its outstanding mosques and occasional churches too. Local Algerois Djihad Mahamdi tours the Tuareg-inspired Cathedral of Sacre Coeur while fellow guide, Nehad Benz explores the Ottoman-refined Casbah which is awash with pretty fountains and sumptuous palaces. A day trip to Tipasa gives us glimpses of a wealthy Roman life in North Africa while back in the Casbah, historian Boualem Benamirouche retraces the steps of the infamous Battle of Algiers, which turned the tide of war of independence. Tales of the great Algerian writer Albert Camus are regaled at the Tantonville café and we listen to the sounds of Chaabi music from renowned singer Noureddine Alane. The programme ends with a celebratory supper at a traditional Algerian restaurant.