Kairouan [ka ɪ ru a ː n, kεr van, French], Arabic Al-Qairawan [ka ɪ -], Governoratshauptstadt in central Tunisia, in the basin of Kairouan in the lowland plains, 60 meters above sea level, (2014) 139 000 residents.
One of the four holy cities of Islam (pilgrimage site); Trade and market center; Carpet weaving center (in addition to large manufacturers, around 500 family businesses), handicrafts (leather, metalwork); Brickworks; Tourism; Road junction. Irrigation agriculture in the surrounding area (including irrigation from the Nebhana dam).
The old town has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In the medina (1 × 0.5 km) completely surrounded by a brick wall (between 1706 and 1712 on the foundations of a wall from 1052) is the Great Mosque Sidi Okba (about 135 × 80 m; started in 672, until the early 20th century). Century; main structure 817–875, prayer hall 836–863, 80 × 40 m, in Syrian-Omayyad tradition), which became the archetype of Western Islamic sacred and secular architecture: T-shaped floor plan, stepped dome structures, keeled horseshoe arches in the narthex, faience-clad mihrab (862/863), Maksura (1022) and Minbar (862/863) in rich wood carvings, three-story minaret (35 m high, 724–728, dome 13th century) on a square floor plan, 17 naves with eight bays each on 414 antique buildings Columns; the east gate Lalla Rihana (1294) is an elegant square risalit in the Spanish-Moorish style. Excellent examples of Islamic decorative art are the facade of the mosque Tleta Bibane (»Mosque of the Three Gates«, 866) and the entire Zawija des Sidi Sahab (»Barber’s Mosque«, northwest of the medina, today’s building between 1629 and 1692 with stucco and faience decoration) and the Zawija of Sidi Abid el-Ghariani (early 14th century, redesigned several times). Holy tower fountain Bir Barouta (current construction 1676–90); in the Zawija of Sidi Amor Abbada (“Saber Mosque”, west of the medina, 1860, five ribbed domes) collection of weapons; Museum of Islamic Art (especially finds from Rekkada and Sabra Mansourija). North of the medina are the Aghlabid basins (9th century) with a 48-sided main basin (diameter 128 m) and a 17-sided clarifier (diameter 37.4 m). – 8 km east of Kairouan are the ruins of the Aghlabid residence Rekkada, 1.5 km southwest the ruins of the Fatimid residence city Sabra Mansourija.
Kairouan, the first Arab city to be founded in North Africa, was laid out between 663 and 670 by the Arab general Okba Ibn Nafi as an army camp and caravan site and flourished in the 9th and 10th centuries as the residence of the Aghlabids, Fatimids and Sanhajids; Destroyed by the Beni Hilal in 1057, it lost its capital city function, was rebuilt by the Hafsids in the 13th century and enlarged by the Husainids in the 18th century. Kairouan has remained the religious and spiritual center of the eastern Maghreb to this day (most recently the starting point for Islamic fundamentalism opposed to the government).
According to Militarynous, Sousse [sus, French], Arabic Susa, is the governorate capital, port and industrial city with seaside resort on the east coast of Tunisia, on the Gulf of Hammamet, (2014) 221 500 residents.
Hotel management school; Theaters, museums; Textile industry (large tannery, spinning mill, clothing factories also for the European market), food industry (especially canned fish), olive oil mills, metal processing, production of greenhouses, plastic goods, soaps, arts and crafts; major tourism; Fair (every two years); Commercial, fishing and marina; Transport hub; international Airport. To the north, the seaside resort of Hammam Sousse, with 33,800 residents, extends over 10 km to the modern, neo-Moorish tourist complex of Port el-Kantaoui with a marina. In the area around Sousse there are extensive olive and vegetable crops, in the south sea salt pans.
The medina with a rectangular floor plan is enclosed by a stone wall with round battlements and square towers (built 857–874; renewed in 1205; two of the original six gates have been preserved, the third gate from 1864). Early Islamic ribat (around 787 from an older large ashlar structure) with semicircular wall towers and 30 m high round watchtower (“Nador”; built in 821); in the former Ribatmosque Museum of Islamic Art. Fortress-like Great Mosque (founded in 851 and built in the style of the Sidi Okba mosque of Kairouan; the 13 aisles were lengthened in the 10th century, a narthex was added in 1675); The small mosque Bou Fatata (838–841) was a test construction. Palace building Kalouat el-Kubba (11th – 13th centuries; today a Moorish café); Turkish Zawija Zakkak with octagonal minaret (18th century).3); in the southwest corner, at the highest point of the city (77 m above sea level), the spacious Kasba (9th-11th centuries) with the 30 m high, square tower Khalef el-Fatah (859) and the archaeological museum (Punic, Roman, Byzantine finds). To the west of the medina are the Christian catacombs (15,000 well-preserved but threatened graves from the 2nd to 4th centuries) and the remains of Roman villas. – The old town of Sousse has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Sousse, in antiquity Hadrumetum, by the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC. Founded in BC, it flourished as a trading center and was established in the 6th century BC. Incorporated into the empire of Carthage and was in 203/202 BC. Chr. Hannibal’s headquarters. The Roman city (from 146 BC) was an important export port for food during the imperial era and became a colony (Colonia Concordia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Frugifera Hadrumetina) under Trajan (98–117 ). Under the Vandals (439-534) the city continued to exist as Hunericopolis; the Byzantine Sozusa was called the Justinianopolis Capital of the province of Byzacena; In 647 it was conquered by the Arabs; rebuilt under the Aghlabids in the 9th century as Susa. Sousse was under Norman rule from 1148–59; in the 16th century it was the base of a corsair fleet. In 1942/43 Sousse suffered heavy British air raids.
Tunis, capital of Tunisia, near the north coast, with (2014) 638 900 residents.
The oriental old town (UNESCO World Heritage Site) with numerous mosques (including the Great Mosque, founded in 732) and palaces is followed by a modern new town.