Médina de Sfax
Médina de Sfax is part of the Tentative list of Tunisia in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
The Medina of Sfax is an example of early Arab-Muslim town planning. Its regular orthogonal plan is organized in four large islands, opening up to the sea on one end and to the interior on the other. The Great Mosque holds a central position. The city, a Mediterranean port, was founded in 849.
Map of Médina de SfaxLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
I live in the Tunisian capital Tunis but my parents are originally from Sfax (economical capital).
The Medina there is unique It's different from tunisian medinas (like Tunis and Sousse).
It's still have the same lifestyle since centuries and architecturally speaking It's still intact :
- Its great beautiful wall which makes it the only islamic Medina that have a wall that's still complete and surrounds the whole ancient city or Medina
- Its great Mosque is still there in the center of the Medina
- the Activities there still authentic and not only touristic which makes this Medina unique comparing it to Tunis and Sousse
For example : forgers in fonduk Haddadin and the leather workers in souk rabaa etc
- the tight roads inside the Medina are all perpendicular
The city still have the authenticity from centuries ago (it was founded since 1200 years in 849) and the wall is like a fortress that kept it unique
I think it should be a world heritage site due to its authenticity and the great state of its walls which makes the city look like a fortress from the outside
Difficult difficult to say yes or no to become a WHS. We already have the Medina of Tunis and Sousse which I also visited. They are touristy. Sfax is authentic. I was the only western guy there as I didn't see any other tourist the 4 hours I walked through the Medina.
In Sfax you can really see the local life and how it all goes. I love that. The narrow streets, the people and the smell. There are a few old houses open for museum and looking at the guest books they don't get many visitors. Dar Jallouli is the most famous. These old houses have beautiful courtyards. Of course there is a kashbah as well. Old mosques and the wall which is still very complete from what I could see.
So WHS or NOT?
Maybe we can exchange the Tunis Medina for Sfax Medina :-)
In anycase if you visit El Jem (from Sousse) which is half a day trip, continue to Sfax for the rest of the day. It's amazing to wander around.
(photo copyright CTB Global - permission to use on worldheritagesite.org)
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2012 Added to Tentative List
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