In the heart of Tunis the Capital of Tunisia we have the Al-Madinah or Medina in Tunis. The Coronet of Tunisia it is a city within a city with the essence of ancient times, culture and traditions. It brings to us the Arabic and Islamic culture and ethnicity. Still here all the customs and mores of those times are practiced. The civilization has endured to be the testimony and memorial of the far rich and colorful culture of Islam. The Medina of Tunis has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
Tunis situated on Mediterranean sea gulf, behind the Lake of Tunis, the city extends with coastal plains and hills around. At the hub of city lays old Al-Medina, a dense agglomeration of passages, alleys, there traditional arts and crafts, old trade practices and intense scents.
To reach Al-Madinah
- Tunis-Carthage International Airport
- Ferry Services available from Sicily, Naples, Malta, Marseille, Sardinia and Genoa.
- Tunis Ville Station
- Road via car: Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Place de l’Independence and Avenue de France (from Carthage).
Al-Medinah has an area of 270 hectares with over 29 hectares for Kasbah. The demography is of 100,000 people which comprises as one tenth population of Tunis. Al-Madinah is the primeval and ancient city which may not be planned city but according to anthropologist the houses are based on socio-cultural code. It has no formal grid or structure. Built in seventh century AD, with such grandeur and now it is a memorial as it was once wealthiest Islamic city. As you walk on the streets it feels like in a maze of narrow streets winding and here you can see and buy the old fashioned and antiquated souvenirs of those centuries. Also beyond Al-Madinah you can see the suburbs of remaining of the city Carthage, La Marsa and Sidi Bou.
The Medina has some archaic 700 monuments, includes the glorious palaces, outstanding Persian art, magnificent mausoleums, madrasas, fountains and splendid and grand Mosques from Almohad and Hafsid Periods. The must visit sites are:
- The Great Mosque which also includes The Muslim University and Library.
- Built in 723 by Obeid Allah Ibn-al-Habhabh there is spectacular Aghlabid ez Zitouna Mosque or as in common language known as Mosque of Olive. It was built in for celebration of new capital.
- The Dar-al-Bey or Bey’s Palace ,magnificent architecture and superb decorations from many different era and styles and periods and is believed to stand on remains of a Roman theater.
Also Al-Medinah has famous market for its arts and crafts and it has there own perfume industry. It’s like a miniature Arab world and gives you the impression of Arab history and culture. Here you come across colorful hand made carpets, handicrafts, attractive copper and brassware and every girl’s must the hand crafter jewellery and exotic and superb pottery and famous Arabic spices.
The perfume maker Souk el Attarine is there perfume is known as ‘Attar’ is major attraction and must buy of this market. The atmosphere of the labyrinthine streets is great and the best thing to do is wander and explore the market in drink in with your eyes the celebrated Al-Madinah. Every visitor shall experience the ancient touch of Arabic way of life and traditions.