Bookmark and Share

Sfax



Sfax
Introduction

1. City walls

2. Dar Jellouli

3. The kasbah

4. The medina

5. Invisible great mosque

6. Colonial town

Practicalities




















Open LookLex Encyclopaedia



Open the online Arabic language course







SFAX
"Invisible" Great Mosque

Sfax, Tunisia

The Great Mosque of Sfax is really hard to get a feeling of. Similar to the Kairouine mosque in Fez in Morocco, Sfax's has melted together with the nearby houses and streets. It was first built in 849 and expensively rebuilt in the following century.
The mosque is large, still you may just pass it without noticing.
It may not be entered by non-Muslims, but some doors and windows are open and nobody will mind if you look in.
The minaret is nice, with highly decorated steps (picture left). It dates back to 988 and had the minaret of Kairouan as model.
One little detail. On the 4th left window on the eastern facade (the only one visible) there is a Byzantine stone showing a peacock. It is really contrary to Islam to allow depictions of living creatures, but this stone as been allowed to become part of the mosque.
Sfax, Tunisia




By Tore Kjeilen