Islamic Art

Ketchaoua Mosque

The Ketchaoua Mosque is a mosque in Algiers, the capital of Algeria. It is located at the foot of the Casbah and was built during the Ottoman rule in the 17th century. The mosque that stands on the Casbah’s many steep stairways, was logistically and symbolically the cynosure of the pre-colonial city of Algiers.

Detailing of the minarets, which have fallen into disrepair      A picture of the mosque from its intial days.


The mosque was originally built in 1612. Later, in 1845, it was converted during French rule, to the Cathedral of St Philippe, which remained so until 1962. It was reconverted into a mosque in 1962. In spite of these transitions over two different religious faiths in the last about four centuries, the mosque has retained its original grandeur and is one of the major attractions of Algiers.


    The front view of the mosque

Ketchaoua Mosque is located in the historic Casbah in Algiers, which is located in the northern part of the city. It is located approximately 250 metres west of the Great Mosque of Algiers, located near the Archbishop's Palace of Algiers and the National Library of Algeria. The mosque, built during the rule of the Ottoman Empire, was once at the centre of the city.

The history of the Ketchaoua Mosque is integral to the ancient history of the Casbah, which is recognized under UNESCO World Heritage List for its cultural heritage. The mosque was built under the Ottoman Rule (16th and 17th centuries) at the centre of the Casbah. Its exact location was at the centre of the city at the intersection of the roads from the lower Casbah leading to the five gates of the Algiers city. Apart from the Ketchaoua Mosque, there are remains of the citadel, other old mosques and Ottoman-style palaces, as well as the remains of a traditional urban structure.

 

The principal entrance to the mosque is through a flight of 23 steps. At the entrance, there is an ornamented portico, which is supported by four black-veined marble columns. Inside the mosque, there arearcades built with white marble columns. The beauty of the mosque's chambers, minarets and ceilings of the mosque are accentuated by the distinct Moorish plaster work. The mosque, which now overlooks the public square in the Casbah, with the sea in front, has two octagonal minarets flanking the entrance, with Byzantine and Moorish design and decorations, presents a graceful sight. Many of the white marble columns belong to the original mosque.

 

Over time the mosque has fallen into disrepair due to neglect; however, the original beauty of the architecture can still be seen. Many attempts and plans for restoration of the mosque have been made repeatedly, but a full scale refurbishment of the mosque has yet to be done.


Pakistan Art

 

 

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