Thursday, December 23, 2010


            Kairouan or Qayrawan means camp in Arabic. Historical relate that the Arabs conquest the region of North Africa. Establishing military posts at regular interval along his route and decided to encamped at the present day Kairouan. Starting as a military camp, Kairouan become the greatest Muslim city in North Africa.. During these centuries, the city became one of the most important cultural centers in the Arab world, witnessing the flowering of sciences , literature and the arts. Kairouan grew in size and beauty and no where was this more evident than in the construction and continuing elaboration of its Great Mosque.

Great Mosque of Kairuoan
           The Great Mosque of Kairouan also known as Sidi Oqba mosque, takes the general form of rectangle. The enormous space contains the prayer hall, a courtyard and a minaret. The minaret is three stories tall, with it lowest stories composed of stone block taken from classical Roman buildings. The minaret build from 724 to 728AD is the oldest standing minaret in the world and is widely recognised as one of the greatest gems of Islamic architecture.

          The old town of Kairouan has fascinated many artists. Its derived from the tight network of little streets, passageways, archways, and fluted cupolas with a mellow whiteness, all blending in beneath the protection of the Great Mosque. The souqs are dedicated to commerce divided up according to traders and are constant buzz of activity. All around these historic neighbourhoods the light brick crenulated ramparts punctuated by towers and bastions succeed in giving the old town the venerable experience of standing outside of time, Kairouan is a fascinating and welcoming secret of Tunisia and with that one of the jewel of Tunisian heritage.

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