Walking through the medina allows you to travel through history by courting several civilizations. A getaway in the marine cemetery lets the thought admire the richness of the landscape that blends the sea with the land on a peninsula that extends into the Mediterranean.

Actractive resources

The skifa Elkahla

Municipality of Mahdia

This is a vestibule that leads directly to the souks and measuring 33m long and 5,10m wide. Since the beginning of the tenth century to the mid sixteenth century, the entrance consists of 6 metal gates. The wall has undergone several changes after the demolition caused by the Spanish in 1555. The final touches were made to the building in 1893/1311 AH. The only remnant of the old walls, Skifa is integrated in the system walls rebuilt by the Turks in the late sixteenth century. Gate of the walled city, Skifa el Kahla was the main tower of the second line of defense to prevent access of the city by land. Two parts compose the building, a fort 18m restored late nineteenth and vaulted vestibule extending the defense and was used but also commercial crossing once a week during the souk. Mahdia was also equipped with maritime fortifications, small staked walls over a hundred guard towers. Maritime door was locked with a chain stretched between two protruding iron and linked the move to the sea. Today, artisan enlivened by passing some days before and after sunset.

The Great Mosque

municipality of Mahdia

History When the first Fatimid Imam Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi, founded Mahdia in 909, he chooses to build the mosque in an area of ??the walled city near the Caliphate residence. The fortified appearance of the monument is still suffering from the pioneering spirit that accompanies the development of religious architecture in Ifriqiya in the early centuries of the Arab conquest. Moreover, Mahdia is designed by its founder as a safe city, as illustrated in the office caused by the increasing hostility of the Sunni population to the imposition of Shiism by the Fatimids. However, two important mosque corner towers are not designed for the defense of the complex, but as a reservoir for collecting rainwater. It is likely that, for a time at least, they were fueled by the water pipe which served the al-Mahdi palace and went underground sources Miyyanish, six kilometers from the city. The building underwent several changes over the centuries, especially during the Ottoman period, after the destruction of the city by the Spaniards in 1554. Between 1961 and 1965, he was completely renovated by French architect Alexandre Lézine that respects broadly the project tenth century. Of the original structure are preserved monumental portal and the north portico, while the rest is the result of previous reconstructions. Architecture: The outdoor areas The building consists of a large irregular quadrilateral, about 85 meters long and 55 meters wide, with its south - home to the mihrab - slightly longer than the north side. Viewed from the outside, the mosque is like a fortress, because of its massive walls without openings except the facade, the extensive use of stone and especially the presence on the facade two square towers and truncated to the northeast and northwest corners. Since it appears that the mosque was never equipped with a minaret, it is likely that the call to prayer is made from one of the towers. The main entrance, located in the center of the north wall and flanked by two small openings, is marked by a large arch resting on jambs and crowned by a short attic. The gate solemnity is enhanced by the simplicity of moldings that share the surfaces and decoration: blind arcades and horseshoe in the lower register and niches in the upper register of the archivolt, which take the section pattern of the cornice. Inside is a large courtyard surrounded by arches on all four sides. The north portico retains its original vaulted arches resting on stone pillars, while the rest are horseshoe arches resting on Corinthian columns: Individual east and west, south and twin front the prayer room. Prayer room The great pillared hall dotted with Corinthian columns, has nine naves perpendicular to the qibla and four bays. The central nave much higher and wider than the others, is flanked by a thick row twin horseshoe arches supported by groups of four columns instead of twin columns used in the aisles. Thus defined, the trace nave inside the hypostyle structure, strongly marked axis in the direction of the mihrab. The intersection with the span of equal amplitude and parallel to the qibla wall, resulting in a T-shaped plan, architectural feature whose central point is highlighted by a cross. Open along the axis of the ship by a horseshoe arch, this cross is delimited by pillars and pillars half angles bundles formed of groups of columns, on which a hemispherical dome. This is based on an octagonal drum pierced by 24 windows in green glass. The thrust is supported by pendants angles, while a band of black marble decorated with inscriptions from the Koran marks the transition between the two figures of the complex structural mechanism. The focal point of the architectural composition, in front of the mihrab niche is plunged into darkness but bathed in a soft green light (color of Islam) passing through the windows of the drum. The mihrab shaped horseshoe, white-stone Kedd?l, is supported by two columns of dark green marble. Inside is a rich sculptural decoration, on two separate registers separated by an arch of white marble band covered with Qur'anic verses in Kufic script. In the lower end are nine furrows, the top shell shaped five and ten lobes, followed by a frieze in high relief clovers; grooves converge in the upper part in a single point at the top of the arch. The unusual presence of a second and smaller mihrab - a simple recess without decoration - in an eccentric position on the west wall of the prayer hall is due to the controversy between Shiism and Sunnism the correct direction Mecca. Architectural inspirations The mosque draws heavily in its plan and other architectural elements of the Great Mosque of Kairouan (ninth century), monument served as a model for the Muslim religious architecture in Ifriqiya. However, the large gate projecting reserved for the caliph and his entourage, is a major turning point in Islamic architecture as it allocates for the first time an aesthetic and symbolic meaning to the entry of a place of worship, totally anonymous previously even in the case of prestigious monuments. Inspired by Roman triumphal arches, but also the inputs of the Umayyad desert castles, the monumental gate marks the beginning of a ceremonial route inside the mosque, ending at the bottom of the prayer hall. Indeed, from the main entrance, an unusual swath cut in two the court then undertook through the nave to the mihrab, where the Fatimid Caliph performed his imam of the community functions. The basilica structure of the prayer hall divided into naves perpendicular to the qibla, with a focus on the symbolic axis directional "nave - mihrab" marked by a cupola but already revealed through the front focus on the central arch (large size combination of pillars and columns instead of the usual double columns, etc.), was successfully tested at the Great Mosque of Kairouan a century ago. However, the architectural complex syntax elements - in itself exceptional in the case of the gate and the covered corridor - is unique to the Great Mosque of Mahdia.

The museum of Mahdia

Municipality of Mahdia

On the edge of the old town in former premises of the renovated town hall, this museum is as much a reflection of the general history of the country to which the city has contributed a good chapter that the more specific, Mahdia itself. Under the first part, the museum gives us the ground floor, objects dating back to the Libyan-Punic and Roman antiquity Africa while part of the first floor is dedicated to the legacy of the Byzantine period and Islamic. Greek civilization is represented by two marble columns partly eaten by molluscs and from a Roman shipwreck loaded with war booty wrecked off Mahdia and whose main loading, recovered in the 40 , is exposed in the wing "Mahdia" the Bardo Museum. Under the second part, the floor gives us a lot of crafts (carved and painted woodwork, mosaics, stucco work, ceramics, earthenware ...) from the city and its surroundings, some of which date back up the Fatimid dynasty founder of the city in the tenth century. At this same title, two rooms were devoted one to weaving, which Mahdia was an important center, the other to sumptuous traditional costumes of the region Mahdia - El Jem - Ksour Essef. Note to the attention of the visitor room "treasures and jewels", which outlined gold coins and ornaments traditionally worn by women in the region.

The mosque Slimène HAMZA

Municipality of Mahdia

Slimane Hadj Hamza mosque was built by the care of Haj Slimane Hamza in 1826. The site has undergone several extensions and rehabilitation works mainly in the XXth Century. This is one of the most important religious sites that exist in Mahdia and represents all the architectural standards of the mosques of the Ottoman era. The mosque "Slimane Hamza" is located at the entrance east of the commercial area of ??the historic center. This mosque dates back to 1826 dates its founding by "Slimane Hamza" and his brother "Mustapha Hamza". The architecture of this place of worship is done in the following way: a prayer room surrounded by two overcast spaces. They are the "Sahan" which is used by practitioners especially in summer. The minaret is located at the northwest corner of the mosque. It is used to call to prayer five times a day. The bathroom is located on the south east side of the mosque, and often frequented during prayer time.

Hadj Mostafa Hamza Mosque

Municipality of Mahdia

This mosque was built by Haj Mustapha Hamza care in 1778. This site has undergone several extensions and rehabilitation works mainly in the 20th century. This is one of the most important religious sites that exist in Mahdia. it represents all the architectural standards of the mosques of the Ottoman era. It consists of a prayer room located at the southwest side of the mosque. A bathroom and an octagonal minaret which gathered all the characteristics of Muslim Arab architecture.

The Ottoman fort

Municipality of Mahdia

Borj el Kebir is an imposing fort, built in the sixteenth century, which contains nothing special, but the view of the sea and the tip of the peninsula is the most spectacular. This borj is based on a quadrangular plan and later with bastions of angles, the building is surrounded by a strong wall to breakthrough original one entry (after his prison reassignment use another access it was built in the nineteenth century). This door leads through an arched and angled passage to a courtyard overlooked by rooms, vaulted too. At the southeast corner of the courtyard, a previous construction of oratory that was backed up and integrated into the building. The walkway landscaped terrace has a beautiful view of the end of Cap Mahdia promontory and, closer to the monument, the basin of an ancient harbor some scholars trace back to the Punic period.

The palace Elkayem

The east side of the medina

This monument was built by the founder of the Fatimid dynasty (Obeid-Allah Elmehdi) at the beginning of the 10th century for the good of his son Al-Kayem- Bi-Amr Allah. It continued to be used later by the Zirid (the successors of the Fatimid). In the mid-16th century it was destroyed by the Spaniards during their invation. And its stones used for the reconstruction of the city. Excavations on the site have revealed a mosaic of size 60 sqm. this is probably the one that decorated the great hall of the palace.

The Punic port

The south est part of the Medina

It is unclear whether this ancient Phoenician port also corresponds to Gummi, Roman city in Africa with the navicular were represented at Ostia; However, today, even in Mahdia, archaeological evidence relate more to the Punic era and medieval and modern times. From the Punic period, Mahdia has kept a Carthaginian cotton, that is to say, a harbor carved by human hands, which later was re-employed in the Fatimid era. Recent research has led to say that the old port is carved into the rock and date of the Punic era. It was used as a trading post and military port to the Ottoman period (about the middle of the eighteenth S) surface of 8250m2. His initial depth exceeds 10m. It can hold 30 boats at a time. The trace of the walls surrounding it is still visible to the naked eye and the two warriors who monitor its input.

The door of the Sea (The ruins of the wall)

Around the medina

The choice of Mahdia met the wishes of qualifed and we see the dual aim of the first Fatimid qualifed to emerge from the foundation of his city, the preserve of possible attacks from the inside by a bulwark to the only vulnerable spot, the narrow gully land that connects the peninsula to the land, develop a naval port and an arsenal for the preparation of a war fleet for the great adventure to the East. The door to the sea is the only thing that is visible from the rampart. That was the purpose for which this wall was built. But in 1555 the Spanish invaded the city and destroyed a large part of the wall and did not let a small part. Which is currently somewhere in the marine cemetery.

The Fatimid arsenal

South part of the medina

The Fatimid arsenal is the second naval shipyard in Mahdia in the Fatimid era. It was founded by Caliph Al-MOEZ. It contained the boats parking basins, cutlery deposit, this site was operated until hafsite era was considered among the largest shipyards in North Africa after the Tunis Bejaya. In early December 2006, embrittlement and total risk of collapse of the cliff overlooking the creek, crevice on the road and evacuation of people from some houses of the Medina overlooking the arsenal. Things remained in the state since. The difficulty is that the road and the houses are placed directly on the monument.

The marabout Sidi Jabeur

The center of the marine cemetery

The Sidi Jabeur Sanctuary is a major memorials, which was associated with the history of the city of Mahdia where he played a tutor role is Sheikh Mohammed bin Jabeur (Sultan of the city) who played an active role in the Sufi movement, especially during the late Middle Ages, the time of the weakness of the Hafsid state, this movement is installed on the Tunisian coast to protect against external invasions. This character has participated in the war against the Spanish in 1550 and became killed by them and buried on the spot. From an architectural point of view the marabout is divided into two main categories, where the holy house is located on a square open space on the second unit of irregular rectangular dimensions. The marabout plays a strategic role in the marine cemetery. It controls all the cemetery and enjoys wonderful panoramic views. It is also a place visited by locals and parties Sufi music and songs are sung.

The marabout Sidi Snoubri

The south side of the historic center

The marabout Sidi Snoubri is on the archaeological zone at the entrance of marine cemetery between the site "palace Alkayem" and the Ottoman fort. The first writing of the marabout who spoke back to 1857 in the manuscript "the villages of the Sahel" the marabout is visited by locals. Foreign visitors come to see the strategic position occupied by the marabout loan that provides a panoramic view of the historic center.

Cairo Place

Center of the medina

The small square in Cairo Mahdia does not lack charm with Haj Mustapha Hamza Mosque (18th c.), The old coffee arcades and domino players in fez and bunting. This site is designed as a central square in the eastern end of the commercial area of the medina. This square is considered the center of the medina or includes all activities and provides a nice setting for all its visitors.

Silk weaving workshops

The heart of the medina(historic center)

Since the nineteenth century in Mahdia, the Master of weaving are men and only men! We never tired of admiring the silk weaving and Mahdia, with flamboyant colors and patterns recognizable at first glance: the most impressive, the r'da HRIR consists of a succession of bands and golden stripes and colorful (red, blue, silver and green), the Set El Kol black cotton blend and red blood silk weaving, green, silver and gold ... First used in many traditional wedding costumes, they are now broken down into scarves, bedspreads, tunics, bags, baskets, shoes These hand-weaving techniques are still performed in weaving workshops scattered in the medina of Mahdia and prepare traditional costumes for the bride and groom. These workshops still retain a local know who is in danger after deserting the qualified workforce. For cons, the local population is related more to these traditional costumes. Silk weaving Workshops can be a tour that will allow visitors to admire the treasures of this ancient practice.

Zaouit (marabout) Sidi Abdessalem

The medina of Mahdia

Located on the south side of the city, in the residential area of the medina. It dates back to the 19th century (the year 1870). the marabout is dedicated to the faithful of Saint Sidi Abdessalem al-Asmar (brown). The architecture of the place dates back to Hafsite time before being used as a marabout. It consists of an entrance hall, a courtyard and prayer hall. The stage was built in the early 20th century and currently second flight as offices. Currently this site is the local backup Association of the medina. It has undergone several restoration actions and continuing to be visited by tourists.

former Church

Historic center

The ancient church of Mahdia was built during the colonial period. It was a place of worship for Christians living in Mahdia. This church had a restoration by turning it into a multipurpose hall used as arts exhibition space. Also local associations use it to organize various cultural, musical, political.

The Fatimid arsenal

The medina of Mahdia

The Fatimid arsenal is the second naval shipyard in Mahdia in the Fatimid era. It was founded by Caliph Al-MOEZ. It contained the boats parking basins, cutlery deposit, this site was operated until hafsite era was considered among the largest shipyards in North Africa after the Tunis Bejaya. In early December 2006, embrittlement and total risk of collapse of the cliff overlooking the creek, crevice on the road and evacuation of people from some houses of the Medina overlooking the arsenal. Things remained in the state since. The difficulty is that the road and the houses are placed directly on the monument.

Hammam El Madina

The heart of the medina(historic center)

A walk in the commercial area of the historic center is one of the busiest places in the city. this traditional Hammam (Hammam Elmadina). A place that offers thalassotherapy treatments. The Hammam is an ancient building dating back to the colonial era. It is in the form of a traditional house consists of a hallway premeir then a second before entering the bathroom. Inside there are three bathrooms. Most chade is at the bottom and the least chade. There are also small individual rooms for intimate shower.

Museum Dar Essghir

The heart of the medina(historic center)

A charming little museum in a traditional Tunisian house, on life, Tunisian customs and apparels. Around a small courtyard are arranged the main rooms of the house, each telling a story of the bedroom with an embroidered wedding dress of gold at the old traditional cuisine. The museum lack of entertainment, a little dull.

The Punic necropolis

The heart of the medina(historic center)

The presence of a series of tombs carved into the rock, almost in contact with the sea on the south side of the medina, testifies irrefutably that the site of Mahdia has been inhabited since the Punic era. These tombs reflect the civilizations that succeeded on the floor of Mahdia, a site visit will discover the wonders of a marriage between the sea and the earth is imagined that these graves are only part of a necropolis extends over a greater part of the peninsula. The marine cemetery, famous for peace and fullness it provides, is unique. . Looking to the horizon or the boats disappear give vied to travel in eternity to discover the eras that followed over the city.

Café Sidi Salem

the medina of Mahdia

Suspended from the rock, feet in the water and with a breathtaking view of the open sea, coffee Sidi Salem Cave offers tea, coffee, soft drinks, but also a fast food (salad, grilled fish, chips ...). Near the coffee was still there a few years a cave that has since been blocked to consolidate the coast. The marine cemetery Mahdia is a stone's throw. The Sidi Salem café and is a good place to take a break from your exploration of the Fatimid city or just to meet friends. Attended Mahdois like tourists, it would benefit from a little shady. The cuisine is not haute cuisine but the dishes are affordable. They probably deserve to be served foie months (including fish). So has been attending the morning for coffee watching the sunrise over the sea or in the evening to enjoy a tea with pine nuts!

The marine cemetery

The heart of the medina(historic center)

Every Thursday, the women of the town of Mahdia are going to visit their dead at the foot of Borj Erras to the old Fatimid port. And it is about all a moment of communion with the memory of their parents and ancestors. How indeed imagine a place that is more likely to evoke the eternal rest that the marine cemetery in Mahdia? On Friday, they also continue to visit the heart of the cemetery marabouts Sidi Jaber, Sidi Bel Hassan and Sidi Snoubri and carry their offerings to mark the success of their children for exams or during a circumcision. Cape Africa was chosen in the seventeenth century to house the city cemetery. The people of that time certainly had to be affected by the poetry of place and feeling of eternity that emerge from this piece of land that peeled brave winds and storms. Changes with the seasons, sometimes in the earthy tones of sand and rock in the summer, sometimes green, with bunches of laurels and weeds in the spring, it is studded with these modest white tombs that recall in passing how is ephemeral life down here. The arc Phoenician ruins of "Sour" wall built by the Fatimids, watch over this unique panorama and reminds us how the first Tunisian fishing port is full of history. One that was a day to become Jemma Aphrodisium and then Cap Africa in antiquity has indeed seen a succession Phoenicians and Romans, Fatimids and who made it the capital of their empire and have named we know it . It will be the scene of terrible battles in the Banu Hilal and changed owners many times: prey of the Normans of Sicily and the Genoese, followed by Spaniards and privateers Ottomans. Today there is an opening of this story to another one which is the identity of Mahdois that keep registered in their memory this prestigious past. Mahdia rebel had to fight during the 60s against the appetite of developers who wanted to shave their cemetery to build a tourist complex. They were able to protect their wealth in the best ways. Hope today that municipal services can engage in a real patrimonial approach by developing this unique place in the world.

Café Gamra

The heart of the medina(historic center)

A nice place to drink tea, coffee, sitting on the terrace, chatting and playing dominoes with the locals. is the famous Cairo place which is also used by the coffee as terrace. Everyone is enjoying tea with pine nuts and admire the Muslim Arab architecture facades around the place.

Elhamra esplanade

the medina of Mahdia

On the peninsula of the old Mahdia, on the fringe of Borj Erras, the inhabitants of the city of the waves have always lived in close symbiosis with the sea: it punctuates their daily assures their livelihood, their days rhythm and mood, cradles their sleep, and runs most of their conversations. It is difficult for that comes from the interior, even if it is not very far to understand this symbiotic relationship: the children who, soon raised, itchy head before breakfast. One of the women who take advantage of the halt of the nap to refresh after a long work in the morning. Employed fishers, left at dawn, looking at him in their house back, and that one watches terraces. That of the living but also the dead, to whom it offers the peace of the finest marine cemetery in the world. And even the cats are the only cats in the world to swim and to fish for crabs. Also, it is difficult sometimes to understand how everything related to this unspoilt peninsula of the gods, this magnificent site that painters, photographers and illustrators continue to reproduce indefinitely, may be sensitive. Al-Hhamra site is a beautiful place or merge the sea and land. This site is known for its bathing spot. a rocky coast offers swimmers a clear, clear water quality giving the turquoise. Al-Hamra is also known as plaza on the north bank of the medina or visitors make a walking promenade watching the blue shoreline seaward giving an extended dimension. Also plunged underwater can admire a rich marine life in plants and fish.