Museums and Heritage

Museum El Kobba Located inside the medina, infront of jewelers shops , is known for its dome folds in zigzag unique in Tunisia. In the nineteenth century, the Kobba housed the caravanserai of the French and then, until the Sixties,served as a hostel From its terrace, one has a splendid view over the roofs of covered souks and the labyrinth of alleys.

The Sousse Catacombs this underground necropolis was created towards the end of the first century by Christians to bury their dead during periods of persecution. The Sousse catacombs are formed of galleries stretching over 5 kilometres and containing no les than 15.000 graves. The tombs were dug into the walls of the galleries on two or three levels. One notes the presence of niches at more or less regular intervals along the wall. They used to contain the oil lamps whose dim light used to light the labyrinth.

The Sousse Archeology Museum is located within the Kasbah (fortification) of the medina (old city) of Sousse, a World Heritage Site. At the entrance of the museum, a large vaulted room displays the history and the monuments of the Sahel region from Antiquity to the Muslim period. Located under the Kasbah’s main courtyard, the museum galleries cover an area of approximately 2,000 sq. meters, benefitting from natural and artificial light enhancing the beauty of the collections and their display. The museum includes mosaics, sculptures, lapidaries, and terracotta funerary objects, originating from a number of sites of the ancient Sahel region.

The Great Mosque of Sousse: Built in the early IXth century, remodelled and extended during the Xth and XVIIth centuries, it is adjacent to the Ribat, from which it has inherited the fortified aspect with a crenellated surrounding wall flanked by two watchtowers facing the shore, from where assailants from overseas could have appeared. A small door leads into the building and gives into a vast courtyard surrounded by porticos with arcades dating to the XVIIth century. The prayer room, as vast as the courtyard, is surmounted by two cupolas with shells; its roofing is supported by masonry pillars and its mihrab oriented towards Mecca, is richly decorated.

The Dar Essid Museum is small, private museum is also not to be missed. In a quiet part of the medina, it occupies a beautiful old home, furnished in the style of a well-to-do 19th-century Sousse official and his family. The dimensions of the elaborately decorated, arched door are the first indication of the owner’s status. It opens into a small anteroom for meeting strangers, and then into a tiled courtyard surrounded by the family rooms. There’s an extravagance reflected in the Andalusian tiled facades and items ranging from European antique furniture to traditional perfume bottles, from decorative plaster work to a 700-year-old wedding contract, and marble from Carrara in Italy.