Martyrs' Memorial, Algiers
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|For Heroes killed in action during the Algerian war of independence|
in Algiers, Algeria
|Designed by||Bachir Yelles, Marian Konieczny|
The Maqam Echahid (Arabic: مقام الشهيد, Arabic pronunciation: [mækæːm elchæːhiːd], English: Martyrs' Memorial) is an iconic concrete monument commemorating the Algerian war for independence. The monument was opened in 1982 on the 20th anniversary of Algeria's independence. It is fashioned in the shape of three standing palm leaves which shelter the "Eternal Flame" beneath. At the edge of each palm leaf stands a statue of a soldier, each representing a stage of Algeria's struggle.
The Martyrs Memorial is located on the heights of Algiers, in the municipality of El Madania, west of the Bois des arcades, east of the city Diar el Mahçoul and north of the plaza shopping center Riadh El Feth. It overlooks the neighborhood of Hamma (common Belouizdad) and the Botanical Garden Hamma (known as Jardin d'essai) in the north. The monument has been erected on the site of an ancient military fort.
Consisting of three stylized fins that join mid-height, the concrete monument built by the Canadian company Lavalin, based on a model produced in the Fine Art Institute of Algiers, under the leadership of Bashir Yelles, reaches a height of 92 metres (302 ft). Above the three supporting fins, at 14 metres (47 ft) from the ground, is an Islamic style turret with a diameter of 10 metres (33 ft) and a height of 7.6 metres (25 ft), topped by a dome of 6 metres (20 ft). It rests on an esplanade that burns an "eternal flame" and includes a crypt, an amphitheater and the National Museum of El Mujahid (underground).
The project to build a memorial in memory of the dead from the War of Independence is the brainchild of President Houari Boumedienne. Its implementation was, however, completed under the presidency of his successor Chadli Bendjedid.
The company Lavalin is responsible of the studies and construction of the monument. Several Algerian artists involved, like the painter Bashir Yelles, the calligrapher Abdelhamid Skander and the Polish sculptor Marian Konieczny.
The completion of the work was a real technological challenge because of the constraints inherent to the geometry of the assembly, especially the curvature of the fins, the situation of the site at the edge of a steep cliff and high seismicity of the region. Pierre Lamarre, director of engineering and structural design, Claude Naud, expert planning and construction methods, along with Bashir Yelles, imagined a solution that proved itself decisive and innovative.
Seven months (7 months and 20 day) (November 15, 1981 to July 5, 1982) were necessary to build this architectural work. The monument was inaugurated by the then President Chadli Bendjedid in February 1986.
- The Memorial aerial tramway can reach the monument from the Test Garden of Hamma;
- The El Madania aerial tramway can reach the Hamma district from Diar el Mahçoul;
- A taxi rank is located in the Esplanade shopping center Riadh El Feth.
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