Algeria is a country in north Africa with 34 million inhabitants. The democratic republic lies to the south of the Mediterranean. Neighboring countries are Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Morocco. Along the coast lies a narrow lowland strip. In the north lies the Atlas Mountains with fertile soil. The semi arid areas are more central: the Chotts plateau, with salt lakes and the Sahara Atlas mountains. Furthermore, the arid Sahara area dominates with sand dunes, gravel or rocks and little vegetation. The climate varies from Mediterranean on the coast to a steppe climate at the plateaus. In the south there is a desert climate. The capital Algiers has 1½ million inhabitants. It consists of a flat modern part, close to the coast and an old town, built against steep hills. Sights are the seaport, the Kasbah, the government buildings, churches, mosques, cathedrals, palaces, the national library and the Basilica of Algiers. Other cities are Oran, Annaba, Constantine, Batna, Blida, Setif and Sidi-bel-Abbès. On the UNESCO World Heritage List are the ruined city of Al Qal'a by Beni Hammad, the high plateau Tassili n'Ajjer, the M'Zab valley, the ancient Roman cities of Djémila, Tipasa and Timgad and the Kasbah of Algiers. Further sights are the ruins of Tenes and Cherchell, the red sand town of Timimoun and the many oases.

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