Entrance Gate to Sfax Medina

Travel to Sfax – Home to Museums and Medinas

Sfax is a Mediterranean port on the Gulf of Gabes, located 270 kilometres southeast of Tunis. The city has one of Tunisia’s most lively old cities, where large parts of the economic activities of the country are located. Sfax offers its visitors historic sites dating back to the 9th century.

The walls surrounding it is the original 9th century structure. The great mosque dates back to the 10th century.

The urban history of the region goes back to the two small towns of Taparura and Thaenae of the antiquity. Sfax was established in 849 AD on the ruins of those two ancient settlements. Named after the Aazigh leader, Syfax, the city grew as an Islamic trading centre.

By the end of the 10th century Sfax had become an independent city state. The city was conquered by Roger of Sicily in 1148 and occupied it until it was liberated in 1156 by local forces, it was briefly occupied by European forces again, this time by the Spanish, in the 16th century. In the 17th century, Sfax became strongly involed in barbary piracy,and was attacked by the Venetians that were repelled in 1765. In the late 19th century, Sfax and the rest of Tunisia were conquered by France and incorporated into the French empire. During World War II, the Axis powers had the city as a major base until they were defeated by British forces in 1943. After World War II, Tunisia was returned to France and came solely under Tunisian administration with the independence in 1956.

Among the attractions travellers can visit in Sfax, there are the Kasbah of Sfax that dates back to the 17th century. It was the official residence of the Governor and has been converted into the Museum of Traditional Arts; the Medina of Sfax dating back to 1306 where travelers will find the Great Mosque and the bustling Souk of Sfax; the colonial quarters of Sfax that are among the nicest in Tunisia, with their playful mixture of Oriental details and European lines of the time; the old town Hall, which today serves as an archaeological museum and the Dar Jellouli, a former upper class Tunisian mansion that dates back to the 17th century and that was turned into a museum.

  • Stroll around the bustling medina.
  • Visit the fascinating Archaeological Museum.
  • Take a ferry to the nearby Kerkennah Islands.


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