Kairouan is the only great Tunisian city whose history is more recent than antiquity. In 671 AD, a camp known as a ‘Kairouan’ settled on what is the city’s urban area of today and despite the heat and scarcity of water this location had great strategic value.
The massive minaret of the Great Mosque of Sidi-Uqba is 35 metres high and is the most important Islamic building in Tunis. For many years, it has been the structural model for subsequent generations of Maurice architects. The ancient columns and elegant decoration of the mosque’s interior highlight its importance in the Islamic world.
Two further buildings that are important to Islam are situated on the North Western outskirts of Kairouan, Mosque of the Barber and the Mausoleum of Sidi-Sahab Mausoleum, which date back to the 17th century. They are located above the grave of a companion of the Prophet Mohammed.
In addition to Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, Kairouan is one of the four most important cities in Islam and since it was first established during the 7th century, the city’s life has been continuously determined by religious faith.
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.