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1. The waterfall of the desert

2. The smooth gorge

3. Old village of the three marabouts

4. The last waterfall


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Old village of the three marabouts
Tamerza, Tunisia

The northern end of the old village, with a kalaat on the top (left on photo).

Tamerza, Tunisia

A zawiyya mosque, now apparently abandoned. Still interesting, showing a distinct rural Saharan architecture of crude columns, and no details except a few niches and a mihrab.

Old Tamerza was abandoned following the great flood of 1969, when it rained for 22 days. The village was both too exposed to the river valley (dry almost all the year), and many of the mud and brick-type houses fell in when exposed to water.
Only a few sections are worth a closer visit, and the village is best enjoyed from a distance, especially at mornings and evenings when shadows make shapes stand out.
Inside the village, there are a few marabouts, zawiyyas, which have been taken care of, and easy to locate being chalked in white. The ones which are open are clearly desanctified, and dusty. Still interesting, as they contain the typical architecture of Sahara which stretches from Egypt all the way to Morocco.

Tamerza, Tunisia

A zawiyya, or marabout, still in full use. Hence its good condition. What makes some zawiyyas survive, while other become abandoned, is all related to their popularity with locals or visitors.

By Tore Kjeilen