Travel to Tozeur – The Land of Palms
Early people said that both traditions and culture represent the possibilities for the future. Tozeur is probably the best illustration for that saying as the town succeeded to become one of the main tourist destinations in Tunisia, keeping its old lifestyle and specific architecture. The city is well situated at the fringe of the seasonal large lake Chott el Jerid, allowing visits into the Sahara, as well as to many other smaller settlements. Tozeur is also dotted with a multitude of historic sites that are really worth visiting.
Tozeur is an oasis and a city in central Tunisia, located north-west of the Chott el-Djerid. The history of this city goes back a long way. In ancient times this oasis town was an important Roman outpost and a stopping point for caravans on the sub-Sahara trade route. Through most of its history, it has been autonomous and beyond the direct control of Tunisian rulers. With the arrival of the French protectorate, no place in the country resisted new lifestyles and education more than Tozeur.
Tozeur is first mentioned in Roman times under the name of Thusuros as an important bastion in the defense of the southern frontier of the province of Africa. In the 6th century, the city was captured by the Byzantines who built a fortress to defend their southern frontier against the desert Nomads. In the middle of the 7th century, Tozeur was taken by the Arabs under whom it enjoyed a long period of peace and developed into an important staging-point on the caravan routes. The town prospered and became an important slave market. In the 15th century Tozeur was visited by a devastating epidemic of cholera in which half of the population died.
Tozeur was taken by the French in 1881 who developed it on modern and European lines, retaining its traditional style of brick architecture.
For attractions, visitors to Tozeur are spoilt of choice. Among them are the old town of Ouled El Hwadef, an exquisite example of the town local brick work (yellow/brownish brick architecture); the medina that dates back to the 14th century and that offers a small treasure house of ancient coins, doors, bridal apparel and antique weapons; the Dar Cherait Museum, built like a Tunisian palace and that displays, in true life settings, rare manuscripts, jewelry, ceramics and ornaments as well as wax figures; the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions , a holy man’s mansion that displays old documents and manuscripts; the Great Mosque from 1030; the zawiyya (shrine) of Sidi Ali Abu Lifah, built in 1282; the shopping quarters; and the old botanical gardens. The Bled el Haddar village is also worth to visit. The village main attraction is the old Mosque with its minaret built on Roman foundations.
For activities, visitors to Tozeur can take a camel safari and explore the Sahara Desert, the Chott El-Jerid lake, as well as some other small settlements around the region such as Chebika, EL Ouidane, Tamezra, and Midès.
Tozeur also hosts the International Festival of Oasesin November and December every year.
- Discover Tozeur’s fascinating architecture patterns.
- Explore Tozeur’s old Medina which is rich in craft products.
- Discover the town’s rich history by visiting its splendid museums.