Discover the village
The village of Sidi Bou Saïd is
located at 130m above sea level on a promontory protecting the Bay of Carthage.
It belonged to Punic Carthage (then called Megara) which was founded in the
IXth century B.C., as well as to Roman Carthage from the first century A.D.
onwards. After the Arab conquest in the VIIth century and the fall of Carthage,
the promontory maintained its strategic position with the construction of a
small fort (Ribat) and a lighthouse.
Its magnificent panorama and its rural calm are going to draw a crowd of Murabitun (solder monks) and Sufi mystics to it, coming to search for a place of isolation and contemplation; the most famous among them was Sidi Bou Saïd. Buried in 1231 near the lighthouse, his tomb became a place of worship for the inhabitants of Tunis. Eventually, the advent of the Husainid dynasty (1705- 1957) brought with it the founding of the future village.
The Husainid monarchs – as protectors of the religious heritage and of the virtuous (marabouts, saints) – proceed to building the mausoleum mosque around the tomb of Sidi Bou Saïd. And so as to take advantage of the site’s panorama and its mild summer climate, the leading State dignitaries of Tunis then build their summer residences around the mausoleum and thus create an urban fabric similar to the Tunis Medina.
Mohamed Khereddine Annabi – Research. Archaeologist at the « National Tunisian Heritage Institute »