Medina of Tunis

The medina of Tunis is a listed UNESCO sight, and was founded by the Arabs in the 7th century. It the largest medina in Tunisia, and holds more than 700 monuments including palaces, mosques, madrasses, and fountains. With maze of tunnels, and alleys dotted with mansions is a real pleasure to wander around. The architecture is specially designed for the climate, with narrow streets that are cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. Nowadays more than 15.000 people live here, and make a living from trade. The media’s tangled streets contains some very interesting and fantastic sights such as;

Besides the Zaytouna mosque there are more interesting mosques sush as; The Kasbah mosques that dates back from 1235. It has minaret’s lozenge design in morocco style. It has many influentials from the Zaytouna mosque, severing as a role model. Youssef Dey mosques was the first mosque in Tunis from the ottoman period. It was designed by Ghalib in a interesting colourful mishmash of styles. Hamuda Pasha mosque is a richly decorated building that reflects the prosperity of Tunis in the 7th century. Mosque of Sidi Mahres was built in 1692, and is respected by the locals as one of the finest ottoman buildings. Around the mosque are souqs with nice pottery. Sahib el Tabia mosque has a mixer of Arabic and Italian material and styles. It dates from the 19th century.

Medersas are schools for studying the Quran, and the medina Tunis has some fine examples such as; Medersa Slimania built by Ali Pasha in 1754 to commemorate the killi ng of his son. Medersa Mouradia built in 1673 on the barracks of a Turkish ruin. Medersa Palmier was built in 1714, and named after a special tree.

The interesting souqs of Tunis is a place for traditional trade, architecture, shopping, craftsmanship’s, there’s a lot of hustle and bustle going on around. The areas are divide in different commercial markets, around the Zaytouna mosque. The dirtier craftsmanship’s are located on the outskirts. Interesting souqs are Souq el Barka that dates back from the ottoman times. Originally this was a slave souqs where prisoners from Muslim traders were sold. After the slavery was abolished in 1846 it slowly became a goldsmith market. At the Souq de la Laine market you will find plenty of interesting silver. The Souq of Attatine (perfume) is dating back from 13yh century, and they are souvenirs, and a lot of oils. The biggest market is the Grand Souq des Chechails where in the 17th century around 15.000 craftsman where working making hats. They were exported worldwide. Your clothing can by repaired at the tailors Souq el Trouk.

Mausoleums, Monuments, Museums and Palaces
Dar Othman was built by Othman Dey in the beginning of the 17th century. It’s a marvellous example of the period architecture. The huge freestanding arch is called the Bab Bhar, and that functioned as the medina’s eastern gateway. The movie The English patients was filmed former British embassy faces the Bab Bhar gate. Dar ben Abdallah Museum offers a image how the welthy people lived in the median. It was built in 1796 as a palace. It belonged to an officer, and in the 19th centure it had a makeover in Italian style. Tourbet el Bay is a typical Ottoman mausoleum with a mix of tiles and stucco builtin the period of Ali Pasha reign in 1758 until 1782. The 19th century Palais Kheireddine is located on a palm shaded square. It was a house split in two schools one for Jews and one for Muslims. Zaouia Sidi Kacem Ezzilizi this resorted building is located outside the media. It is the tomb of an Andalusian craftsman, and it has very beautiful Tunisian ceramics.