• Registration Year

    1988

  • Registered Sector

    Medina of Sousse

  • Historical Function

    Defense and religion.

  • Administrative Status

    Chief city of the Governorate.

Location and site

Sousse is situated on the southern shore of the Gulf of Hammamet, which opens into the Mediterranean Sea. Not far from Sicily and about 50 km. from Kairouan, it is on the edge of the interior plains, the Sahel of Sousse.

Urban Morphology

Two sinuous intersecting roads form the basis of the plan of Sousse, which is made up of tortuous streets and dead-ends. There is a remakable contrast between the medieval layout of the medina and the rectilinear network of the quarters that surround it.

In addition to the great monuments of the century during which Sousse experienced its heyday, the "ribat" is particularly noteworthy. Erected at the beginning of the Hegira, it is Sousse's oldest monument. Flanked by a tower that is at the same time a minaret and a look-out, this "ribat" is integrated into the Muslim network of forts along the sea shore that extends between Alexandria and Ceuta. Originally, it served both religious and military purposes because of the Byzantine Christian threat. Following the construction of the urban fortifications in the 11th century, the "ribat" was used strictly for religious purposes.

Registration Criteria

Sousse, with its ribat, its kasba, its ramparts, the Bu Ftata Mosque and the Great Mosque, bears an exceptional testimony to the civilisation of the first centuries of the Hegira. (III) The oldest and best conserved of the entire series of forts of which it is part, the ribat of Sousse is an eminent example of this type of construction. (IV) The medina of Sousse in its entirety constitutes an eminent example of a traditional human settlement which has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible changes. (V)

Historical Reference

  • The Phoenician city Hadrumetum, which occupied the site that later became Sousse, became successively a Roman city, the capital of Byzancena, a Vandal city, and a Byzantine city. At the time of the Arab conquest of the Ifriqiyyan region in the 7th century, it was in a state of decay.
  • Under the reign of the Aghlabids, the Ifriqiyyan region was prosperous and Sousse reached its peak in the 9th century. Its fleet was impressive and its port, which served the capital Kairouan, was very active. The fortification wall was erected and the city's military role was evident in its landscape.
  • The relocation of the capital to Mahdia in 816, under the reign of the Fatimids, led to the decline of Sousse's port. After a period of recovery in the 11th century, the city was taken over by the Normans of Sicily in the 12th century. Its importance was renewed under the Spanish.
M. Taoufik Aribi
Maire
Municipalité de Sousse
Avenue Mohamed V
Sousse, Tunisie
4000
Tel:

Fax:

Email:
president.communesousse@topnet.tn
M. Adnene Sassi
Responsable de la coopération internationale
Municipalité de Sousse
Avenue Mohamed V
Sousse, Tunisie
4000
Tel:
00216 21010852
Fax:

Email:
municipalitesousse@yahoo.fr