Photograph: Ali LaferPhotograph: Ali LaferPhotograph: Ali LaferPhotograph: Ali LaferPhotograph: Ali LaferPhotograph: Ali LaferPhotograph: Ali Lafer

Name of Monument:

Dar Mustafa Pasha


Algiers, Algeria

Date of Monument:

Hegira 1214 / AD 1799

Period / Dynasty:



Dey Mustafa Pasha.


The door to the entrance of the palace can be found at No. 12 Ahmad and Muhammad Mecheri Street, under a projecting roof terrace bordered by rows of roman tiles. The door consists of a single large hinged panel that holds a smaller door within it. The whole structure is enhanced by a series of frames consisting of bronze studs. This door opens onto a first sqifa (entrance hall) that leads, through a second marble-framed doorway, onto the main courtyard. This courtyard is entirely covered along its length by groined vaults, and is bordered here and there by niches that form window-seat dukkana (benches). At the back of the sqifa, a pool of light appears to isolate an alcove. L. Golvin (see Bibliography) imagines 'the master of these dwellings, in this alcove, on days of large gatherings'. Another sqifa, overlooked by two marble-framed doors that are characteristic of this period, connects the main sqifa that visitors enter to the interior courtyard: the wast ad-dar (centre of the house), which is surrounded by galleries whose arches rest on marble columns and which are distinguished by the bands of enamelled tiles that crown them. Ceilings of small wooden beams cover the galleries on the ground and first floors. Large rooms open onto the galleries via a large door whose two door panels, which are perforated by smaller doors, fold back onto the walls. Square windows, with latticed bars and horizontal lintels (on the outside) are incised on either side of the door. The tile cladding on these walls ends slightly above the level of the window-sills, which themselves are framed by a band of enamelled tiles.

View Short Description

Dar Mustafa Pasha has a canopy entrance with a large door containing a smaller gate and framed by bronze studs. A first sqifa (entrance hall) leads to the long, main sqifa covered with groin vaults and lined with niches containing benches. Another sqifa leads to the inner courtyard, which is surrounded on two levels by arcades supported on marble columns and decorated with earthenware tiles that lead to large rooms.

How Monument was dated:

In the sqifa, an inscription on a marble plaque features a date that, according to L. Golvin, commemorates the end of the building works.

Selected bibliography:

Cresti, F., Contributions à l'histoire d'Alger, Rome, 1993.
Golvin, L., Palais et demeures d'Alger à la période ottomane, Algiers, 2003.
Marçais, G., L'architecture musulmane d'Occident, Paris, 1954.
Missoum, S., Alger à l'époque ottomane, Aix-en-Provence; Algiers, 2003.

Citation of this web page:

Ali Lafer "Dar Mustafa Pasha" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. 2020.;ISL;dz;Mon01;13;en

Prepared by: Ali LaferAli Lafer

Architecte diplômé de l'École nationale d'architecture et des beaux-arts d'Alger, stagiaire du Centre international pour la conservation et la restauration des biens culturels (ICCROM) à Rome, Ali Lafer a été architecte en chef des Monuments au ministère de la Culture pendant son service civil. Directeur de l'Atelier Casbah chargé des études d'aménagement de la médina d'Alger, il a également enseigné au cours de Tunis pour la formation d'architectes du patrimoine maghrébin. Membre fondateur de l'association “Les amis du Tassili”, il est aussi chercheur dans les domaines de la numérisation de la documentation graphique et du relevé photogrammétrique.

Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Maria Vlotides
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: AL 14


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