Tunis is the capital of Tunisia and the political, commercial and cultural centre of the country, the 'Paris of North Africa' and a metropolis with a long history.
The centre of the city is the medina, the Arabic old town. Surrounded by the market streets of the souks towers the large mosque of Ez-Zitouna, 'Mosque of Olive'. Apart from the Mosque of Sidi Oqba of Kairouan, this noble building is the most important religious sanctuary in Tunisia.
The central market quarter dates back to the Hafsid Dynasty and Early Christian period and the leisurely ambience of the Moorish coffee houses still exists today.
The tall, octagonal minaret of the Sidi Youssef Ben Ali Mosque is the earliest Syric building style in Tunisia. Next to the mosque are the securely guarded government buildings that incorporate the architectural styles of the old town.
In the labyrinth of souks, there is a tiny square with red-green pillars, the former slave market in which human captives were sold for profit.
The 18th century mausoleum of Tourbet El Bey contains the tombs of the Husseinites Dynasty. Its stucco walls and marble pillars highlight the influence of Italian Renaissance.
Even today, the medina of Tunis enchants all those who experience it and it is one of the oldest and most constantly populated areas of the Mediterranean that is as evocative as an oriental fairytale.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.