Tunisia Vacation Trips
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The Medina, Tunis is located at the center of the city of Tunis. The major part of sightseeing in Tunis constitutes in the Medina, Tunis. It constitutes various spots of tourist attractions in Tunis. One of the most enjoyable things to do in Tunis is shopping as there are several souks or local markets in this region.
The Medina is a dense aggregation of numerous narrow lanes and covered ways, full of exquisite smells, sounds and colors. The very brisk trade activities also fill the place with a lively cacophony.
Tunis has been considered as one of the greatest and wealthiest cities in the Islamic World, through ages. There are about 700 monuments, palaces, mosques, mausoleums, madrasas, fountains at Tunis and all of them are enclosed within the walls of the grand Medina, Tunis.
The Medina is an oval labyrinth of alleys, forming an independent unit of 667 acres in the middle of the modern capital. It is about 1500meters/1,640 yards from North to South and 800 meters/880 yards from East to West. The Medina forms a fully functioning community with its own mosques, schools, hammams (bath houses), cafes, workshops and souks (markets). It is a marvelous example of the 10th -18th century North African urban planning. Honoring its integrity UNESCO has declared this medieval city of Arab as one of the world heritage sites.
It is very difficult to explore through the whole of Medina in one visit as there are at least 4 routes to reach the heart of Medina. The best way is to get mix up in the flow of the people through the narrow street and get lost in the crowd.
At the center of Medina lies the formidable Zitouna (Olive Tree) Mosque founded in 732 AD. Non-Muslims can only enter the courtyard of the mosque and even the Muslims need a prior permission to offer prayers in the mosque. It was the tradition that the mosque should be surrounded only by the noble traders, and so booksellers, wool and silk merchants, jewellers and candle makers had their shops by the walls of the mosque. Now many of them have renamed their shops in French, like, Sauk des Femmes, Rue du Tresor, Sauk el Attarine.
The residential blocks are marked by the blank windowless walls. There are wooden doors, studded with patterns of black nails and painted in blue or green.
Some of the places to be visited in the Medina are Place du Government. The present Prime Minister's Palace use to be the Guest Palace of the 18th century Husseinid Beys. There is the ancient Aziza Othman Hospital, which is still functioning since 18th century. The house of Ibn Khaldun, the eminent son of Tunis in the field of 14th century philosophy and social science also needs to be visited. The Tourbet al- Bey, the tomb of the Beys, the Dar Ben Abdullah, now a museum of traditional art, the Dar Othman, the house of the pirate turned politician comprises some of the most beautiful 17th Century houses of Medina in Tunis.
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