Dar Hassan Pacha

sights / Historic

Dar Hassan Pacha information

Algiers , Algeria
rue Hadj Omar
Central Algiers, next to the Ketchoua Mosque
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The building beside the Ketchoua Mosque was once the city's grandest mansions and carries the name of its original owner, Dar Hassan Pacha. Hassan was the ruler or Dey of Algiers, a man with a sense of purpose - in 1795 he concluded a peace treaty with the fledgling United States of America guaranteeing their ships safe passage in Algiers' waters. Before that, around 1791, he began his palace on the edge of the Casbah, but away from the waterside, which was vulnerable and damp in winter. When Algiers fell to the French the house was turned into the governor's winter residence. Its facade was remodelled, and unlike most large houses here the Dar Hassan Pacha was given a European-style front, with rows of large windows and balconies and a grander entrance. During the occupation it played host to the great and good: the Emperor Napoleon and Empress Eugénie stayed during their 1860 tour. The house has been undergoing a major renovation since 2005 and is closed to the public, but photographs suggest that some of the early decoration has survived, including wall tiles, ornate plasterwork and carved and painted wood ceilings.