National capital and chief city of the governorate.
Medina of Tunis
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.
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.
Tunis exercised a major influence on the development of architecture and decorative arts in the eastern part of the Maghreb. (II) With its palaces and its houses, its madrassas and its numerous souks, Tunis bears an exceptional testimony to the organisation of space and the daily life of a great Islamic city. (III) The Medina in its entirety is an eminent example of a traditional human settlement which has become vulnerable under the impact of socio-economic and socio-cultural changes. (V)
- 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.
Mme Souad Abderrahim
Municipalité de Tunis
Hôtel de ville - Avenue 2 Mars 1934
1008 - La Kasbah
(216) 71 57 11 98