Notre Dame d'Afrique

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Notre Dame d'Afrique after its restoration, in 2010

Notre Dame d'Afrique (Our Lady of Africa) is a Catholic basilica in Algiers, Algeria.


"...a pilgrimage-church for sick persons and mariners, founded by Card. Lavigerie in 1872, [which] rises conspicuously on a spur of the N.E. slope of Mont Bouzaréah, above the Christian and the Jewish burial-grounds."[1]

-Baedeker, The Mediterranean, seaports and sea routes: Handbook for Travellers

The basilica was inaugurated in 1872, after fourteen years of construction. It was founded by Charles Lavigerie.[1] Its architect, Jean Eugène Fromageau, who had been appointed the chief architect for ecclesiastical buildings in French Algeria in 1859, employed a Neo-Byzantine style.[2] Its floor plan is unusual as the choir is situated on the southeast instead of the usual east side of the building.[who?]


Notre Dame d'Afrique is located on the north side of Algiers, on a 124 m (407 ft) cliff overlooking the Bay of Algiers. It formerly could be reached from the city centre by a cable car. The basilica can be considered to be the counter-piece to the church of Notre-Dame de la Garde on the other side of the Mediterranean, in Marseille.


Its symbolic and religious importance can be summed up by the inscription on the apse: Notre Dame d'Afrique priez pour nous et pour les Musulmans ("Our Lady of Africa, pray for us and for the Muslims").[1]


External links[edit]

Media related to Notre Dame d'Afrique at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 36°48′04″N 3°02′33″E / 36.80111°N 3.04250°E / 36.80111; 3.04250