Postcards of Algiers, a Virtual Tour
Explore the city of Algiers through these postcard images from the early 20th century, arranged to walk you through the city. Maps indicate areas of the city where the photographs were taken.

"There are two cities within Algiers, the French and the Arab. Between the two, so distinct from each other, there are no barriers save those that exist between races, living on defiance and antipathy; that is enough to separate them. In the lower city, the Algerian people are among us; in the upper, we are among them."
—Eugène Fromentin, Une année dans le Sahel (Paris, 1874)

These photographs of vintage postcards of Algiers, which date from 1902 - 1932, are drawn from two Getty Research Institute (GRI) library collections: the Cities and Sites Postcard Collection, which features 19th- and early 20th-century images from countries under colonial rule, and the extensive ACHAC (Association Connaissance de l’histoire de l’Afrique contemporaine) collection, which documents the impact and influence of French colonialism on both Africa and France from ca. 1900 - ca. 1957.

These postcards are featured in the exhibition, Walls of Algiers: Narratives of the City (May 19 - October 18, 2009 at the GRI), which examines the city’s complex history and diverse population through a variety of historic and contemporary visual sources.
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