Dar Khdaouedj al-‘Amya
The palace, now the National Museum of Folk Arts and Traditions, is situated in the lower Kasbah at No. 9 Malek and Muhammad Akli street, Algiers, Algeria
Date of construction unknown. Bought in hegira 1203 / AD 1789
The construction date of this building is unknown, although it was built over an ancient zawiya dating from the AH 8th / AD 15th century. In AH 1203 / AD 1789 the Minister of Finance of dey Muhammad bin ‘Uthman bought it for his daughter, Khdaouedj al-'Amya.
The entrance opens onto a first sqifa (entrance hall) and then a second, which runs lengthwise and is bordered by galleries consisting of ornamentally moulded arches resting on rows of three columns, thus forming a series of lateral niches. The ceilings of this large sqifa are groin-vaulted. One then enters a smaller courtyard surrounded by habitable rooms, but which appears to have once belonged to another house that was separate from the palace. A staircase leads to an upper floor, opening onto a patio bordered by galleries that lead into large rooms; one of these – an unusually large one – suggested to L. Golvin (see Bibliography) that it might have been turned into a dining room. The floor above is laid out according to the same floor plan, including the surprising enlargement of a single room.
This palace, situated in the lower Kasbah, would have been built on the site of the old zawiya. The entrance leads to a first sqifa (entrance hall) and then on to a second covered with groin vaults and lined with galleries resting on rows of three columns that form a series of niches to the side. Beyond this there is a small courtyard surrounded by rooms that appear to have formed an independent ensemble. A staircase leads to the upper stories with galleries leading to large rooms.
The construction date remains a mystery; the date of acquisition is given by L. Golvin.
Cresti, F., Contributions à l'histoire d'Alger, Rome, 1993.
Golvin, L., Palais et demeures d'Alger à la période ottomane, Algiers, 2003.
Missoum, S., Alger à l'époque ottomane, Aix-en-Provence; Algiers, 2003.
Ali Lafer "Dar Khdaouedj al-‘Amya" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=monument;ISL;dz;Mon01;14;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 15