Tunis, Tunisia

General Information

Regional secretariat

Administrative status

National capital and chief city of the governorate.

Medina of Tunis

Registration Year


Historical function


Location and site

Situated on the Mediterranean coast of Africa, and between the maritime routes and the caravan routes of the Sahara desert, Tunis opens into the Gulf of Tunis with its outer harbour, known as “la Goulette.” Built close to the base of the hills, it is separated from Carthage, its longtime neighbour, by a lagoon.

Urban morphology

Inside its perimeter road, the 270-hectare medina of Tunis is made up of a non-rectilinear network of streets, vaulted passages, alleys and dead-end streets.

The uniform character of its urban fabric is remarkable. The landscape is made up of white houses, and important monuments that borrow from several styles (like the Great Mosque of 732) or adhere to a single style (such as the Turkish-style Sidi Mahrez Mosque of 1675) are integrated into the ensemble.

Registration criteria

Criterion (ii): The relay role played by the Medina of Tunis between the Maghreb, Southern Europeand the East encouraged exchanges of influences in the field of the arts and architecture over many centuries.

Criterion (iii): As an important city and the capital of different dynasties (from the Banu Khurassan, to the Husseinits), the Medina of Tunis bears outstanding witness to the civilizations of Ifriqiya (essentially from the 10th century).

Criterion (v): The Medina of Tunis is an example of a human settlement that has conserved the integrity of its urban fabric with all its typo-morphological components. The impact of socio-economic change has rendered this traditional settlement vulnerable and it should be fully protected.

Historical reference

  • During the Arab conquest of Ifriqiyya in the 7th century, Tunis was re-born on the ancient site of Tunes. The destruction of Carthage was a deciding factor in its renewal. It wasn’t long before Tunis was equipped with port facilities.
  • For the brief period during the reign of the Aghlabids, between 894 and 905, Tunis was the capital of Ifriqiyya.
  • The Fatimid Dynasty and the Zirid Dynasty which followed it ruled over Tunis from 909 until 1057; Mahdia and Kairouan were their respective capitals.
  • In 1160 the Almohaves (Berber sovereigns inspired by Shi’ism) made Tunis their capital city.
  • Between 1228 and 1574, Tunis was the capital city of the Hafsids, a Maghrebian dynasty which emerged from the Almohaves. This period was the peak of the history of Tunis.
  • When it was taken over by the Ottomans in 1574, Tunis lost its status as capital. It went through a period of commercial prosperity thanks to its merchant communities and piracy (when the latter was enjoying its golden age). In the 17th and 18th centuries, under the Husseinids, it experienced intense architectural activity and attained the appearance that it conserves to this day.

Source : https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/36/




M. Slimane El Golli

Secrétaire général chargé de la gestion de la ville de Tunis
Municipalité de Tunis

Hôtel de ville - Avenue 2 Mars 1934
Tunis, Tunisie

Mme Souad Sassi

Conseillère - Relations extérieures
Municipalité de Tunis

Hôtel de ville -
Tunis, Tunisie
1008 - La Kasbah

(216) 71 57 11 98
[email protected]

Mme Sonia Sfar

Coopération internationale
Municipalité de Tunis

[email protected]

M. Elhem Kraiem

Coopération internationale
Municipalité de Tunis

[email protected]