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The Medina

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  • 28 02, 2016
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The Medina

The old town, the "Medina", is the initial urban core of the city of Hammamet. It had slowly sprawled around a fortress called the "Borj", inside high ramparts built to keep the "Medina" out of the reach of any hostile intentions.
It had later proved necessary to reinforce those ramparts with several watchtowers, the most famous of which are "Borj Ziadi and "Borj Azzouz".

Yet, the "Medina" was not totally isolated from its surroundings thanks to a number of doors opening on its outer environment, namely "Bab Bhar "Bab Essouk Bab Essloughia", "Bab Haouara" and the more recent "Bab Elhouka" and "Bab Errahma”.

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Certainly, being located at one end of the gorgeous Gulf of Hammamet and having its ramparts continually washed by the endless waves of the Mediterranean is enough to make the "Medina" of Hammamet a strategically and aesthetically unique site. However, this "Medina" is not different from other Arab old towns. In fact, the typical Arab old town is provided with a specific housing pattern, with shops, open-air markets public squares, mosques and Turkish baths (hammams"), all related by a network of very narrow streets; and so is the "Medina" of Hammamet.

With the expansion of tourism in the region, many aspects of the "Medina" have been altered. Thus, new economic and cultural activities have emerged and developed and so has a new awareness of the importance of preserving the cultural specificities the old town. This has in turn boosted the tourist sector in Hammamet.

Source: Hammamet the Memory of a City book, published by Association for the Safeguard of The Medina of Hammamet

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