Four hundred kilometres southwest of the Tunisian capital of Tunis and close to the Algerian border in Bled El Jerid, is the delightful oasis town of Nefta.
Beyond its bright cupolas and angled roofs, is the breathtaking expanse of the enormous Schott Dscherid Salt Plain.
What formerly served as the rear guard of the Roman Empire, and was subsequently used as a bishop’s residence, developed into the most important religious centre of an ancient Muslim sect known as the Sufis.
In addition to Nefta’s 24 mosques, there are also more than 100 sacred burial places known as ‘Marabouts’.
The life-giving reason that led to the origin of Nefta in the midst of this barren, desert like landscape can be found close to the historic centre of the town. Precious water bubbles out of a total of 150 two Artesian Wells that has brought new life to more than 950 hectares of lifeless desert.
The desert wind, the Scirocco, is a reminder of the harshness of the surrounding landscape. Even with the protection of the oasis, on some days, the wind manages to blow its way through the town. But as the sun gradually sets below the horizon, Nefta is like a scene from the One Thousand And One Nights.
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.