Sousse is on the coast of Tunisia and has a lot to show for it. Its heritage, culture and beaches amaze those who visit this city full of history.
On the Mediterranean coast, 150 kilometers from the Tunisian capital, behold Sousse. An unknown city for many, but which holds a series of charms to explore.
With an already long history, Sousse is a pleasant surprise and a fusion of Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine and Arab influences. So, set out to discover this magical city.
Sousse: the fantastic city on the Tunisian coast
Sousse is the capital of the Sahel region, on the western coast of Tunisia. This is an important region from an economic and historical point of view, showing signs of Phoenician and Roman times.
One of the products closely associated with this region is olive oil. Around here it is possible to find large plantations of olive groves, which is why olives and olive oil have a key value in the local economy. To get an idea, it is from this area that 2/3 of the oil produced in all of Tunisia comes from, a country that is the fourth largest producer of this ingredient in the world.
Great Mosque of Sousse
The Sousse mosque dates from the 9th century and it is possible to visit its atrium and inner courtyard, but not the prayer area. The construction is integrated into the city wall and was designed to resemble the Great Mosque of Kairouan, one of the holiest in Islam. The atrium is large and full of Koranic inscriptions on its walls.
Next to the Great Mosque of Sousse is the Ribat, a fortified Muslim monastery, surrounded by defensive walls, dating from the 9th century. This fortification served to defend Sousse from Christian invasions from Italy.
Right at the entrance, there are small compartments that were used to accommodate travelers and traders who traveled the Tunisian trade routes. In the past, the Ribat also served as a shelter for the population. It even functioned as a Koranic school.
In the upper area, there is a tower, about 27 meters high, which you can climb. At the top, the views over the city and port, kasbah and wall are absolutely breathtaking.
The medina of Sousse is one of the best preserved in the whole of Tunisia. It is a typically Arab city, with a traditional historic core and an imposing wall. The center is made up of narrow winding streets, staircases, tunnels, which make the medina a kind of enchanting labyrinth.
Along these paths, it’s easy to find craft shops, great for buying those souvenirs that we always like to bring back from our vacations. As it is not a very touristy city and as prices have dropped a lot, as a result of the devaluation of the Tunisian currency, this is a very accessible destination for most European tourists, for example.
Along the alleys of the medina, there are other smaller mosques and zaouias and shrines of Sufi mystics (namely, that of Zaouia Zakkak). The latter is a complex with a mosque, madrassa and mausoleum, with a minaret that stands out in the surroundings.
The old kasbah of Sousse currently functions as a museum and preserves some of the most beautiful mosaics from Roman buildings in the region. It thus serves as a testament to the Roman city of Hadrumetum, which existed here until the 7th century. It is an Archaeological Museum that brings together, above all, objects recovered from the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Where to stay?
Many tourists visit this Tunisian city, even though they are not staying there, dedicating one of their vacation days in Tunisia to go to this region and discover its charms. However, if your objective is to settle in Sousse, then know that this city has many hotels, ready to welcome you.