from Wikipedia Algiers:
Algiers (Arabic: الجزائر, Algerian Arabic: Dzayer ([dzæjer] (From kabyle pronunciation[verification needed]), Kabyle: Ledzayer [ldzæjər], French: Alger [ɑlʒe]) is the capital and largest city of Algeria, and the second largest city in the Maghreb (behind Casablanca). According to the 2005 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570; for the urban area was 2,135,630; for the metropolitan area 3,518,083; and for Algiers Province as a whole 5,723,749 (2006). Thus the urban area of Greater Algiers is one of the largest in North Africa
Nicknamed El-Bahdja (البهجة) or Alger la Blanche ("Algiers the White") for the glistening white of its buildings as seen rising up from the sea, Algiers is situated on the west side of a bay of the Mediterranean Sea. The city name is derived from the Arabic word al-jazā’ir, which translates as the islands, referring to the four islands which lay off the city's coast until becoming part of the mainland in 1525. Al-jazā’ir is itself a truncated form of the city's older name jazā’ir banī mazghannā, "the islands of (the tribe) Bani Mazghanna", used by early medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi and Yaqut al-Hamawi. Algiers is the only Algerian city with an English name different from its French name.
The modern part of the city is built on the level ground by the seashore; the old part, the ancient city of the deys, climbs the steep hill behind the modern town and is crowned by the casbah or citadel, 400 feet (122 m) above the sea. The casbah and the two quays form a triangle.