About Medina of Tunis
The Medina of Tunis, the historic quarter of the capital of Tunisia, is a labyrinth of some seven hundred monuments and buildings, many dating to the period between the twelfth and the sixteenth centuries.
The Medina of Tunis was founded in the seventh century following the fall of Carthage, but flourished in the twelfth century under the rule of the Almohad Dynasty and then under the Hafsid Dynasty up to the sixteenth century, both being Berber dynasties. During this time, Tunis was a thriving centre of commerce and culture, the result today being an impressive collection of surviving mosques, palaces and monuments.
The oldest mosque in the Medina of Tunis is the Al-Zaytuna Mosque or “Mosque of Olives”, which is thought to date back to the seventh or eighth century. The Sidi Mehrez Mosque in the Souk Ejjadid, with its distinctive white domes, is one of the most noticeable in the Medina of Tunis, it dating back to 1675.
Today, visitors enter the Medina of Tunis via the Bab el Bahr, a gateway also known as the Porte de France, a reminder of Tunis’ time under French rule (1881-1956). It was also under the French that the importance of the Tunis of Medina declined as the city expanded. There is a map of the Tunis of Medina next to the gate, allowing visitors to get their bearings and orange signs can be found throughout pointing to various sites.
The Medina of Tunis is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of our Top 10 Tunisian Tourist Attractions.