Website Category: Fortified Cities of the Maghreb
Area: 0.3 km2
Criteria: (iii) cultural tradition (iv) icon of an era (v) interaction with the environment
Location and Values: The Medina of Sousse is located in the Mediterranean port city of Sousse about 150 km south of Tunis. It is a fortified city established as a commercial and military port by the 9th century Aghlabid dynasty, based in Kairouan. It is a superb early example of a fortified Islamic city dating from the first centuries of Islam. Its walls are especially impressive, stretching for 2.2 km at a height of 8 metres, with a series of solid square turrets, and an imposing square watchtower, the Khalef Tower, built in 859 AD.
The oldest building within the medina is the impressive Ribat, an 8th century fort that was garrisoned by devout Islamic warriors who would have spent much of their time studying the Quran in the tiny cell-like rooms built into its walls. Other prominent landmarks in the medina include the Great Mosque of 851 AD and the imposing 11th century Kasbah built into the city walls at its highest point.
Slideshow of the Medina Of Sousse: The slideshow starts at the Ribat (fort), with its cylindrical, domed corner turrets and extensive views across the medina. Across the square the Grand Mosque is seen, and on the hill in the far distance the massive Kasbah with the Khalef Tower overlooking the medina rooftops. The slideshow finishes with a tour of the medina’s narrow streets, with their white-washed walls, and highlighting some of the decorative Arabic doors, a covered souk (market) and the octagonal minaret of the Zaouia Zakkak.
Slideshow of the Medina Of Sousse:
Google Earth View: To view satellite imagery of the Medina of Sousse on Google Earth, click here. This opens a new window, so when you are finished, just close the Google Earth page and you will be straight back here to continue browsing other world heritage sites.
Other Links: Official UNESCO Site Details