#1 of 41 things to do in Algiers
Basilique Notre-Dame d'Afrique
Notre Dame d'Afrique (Our Lady of Africa), also known as Lalla Meriem or Madame l'Afrique, is a Roman Catholic basilica in Algiers, Algeria.
It was Louis-Antoine-Augustin Pavy, who served as the Bishop of Algiers from 1846 to 1866, who paved the way for its construction. The basilica was inaugurated in 1872, after fourteen years of construction. It was founded by Charles Lavigerie. 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. Its floor plan is unusual as the choir is situated on the southeast instead of the usual east side of the building.
The basilica contains 46 stained glass windows installed in the 19th century. They were blown out during a bombing of the area in April 1943 and have been restored twice since the end of World War II.
The basilica was damaged by the 2003 Boumerdès earthquake. A reconstruction project was initiated by Archbishop Henri Teissier in 2003, but work on the project didn't start until the spring of 2007. The total cost of restoration was 5.1 million euros. The project took three years to complete.