I have already proclaimed my love for the Medina in Sfax, and today my adoration grew two-fold after visiting Dar Djellouli and the Kasbah. I was fortunate to have 3 tour guides, my co-worker Sana and her sisters. Their assistance was much needed as just locating Dar Djellouli is a challenge – it is tucked away in the Medina’s labyrinth and offers no indication of being a museum from the outside. You would never guess that inside those modest concrete walls is a historic governor’s mansion which has been converted into a museum to house cultural artifacts from the 1800s.
The mansion contains two floors of balconies and rooms surrounding an open-air courtyard coated in green-tiled mosaic. The rooms displayed clothes, furniture, tools, artwork and calligraphy. It was interesting to learn about how Tunisians lived in the past and to discover through Sana and her sisters the traditions that are still passed on today, like brides stepping on fish during their weddings – no joke.
Our next stop was the Kasbah which now functions as the Museum of Contemporary Architecture. The exhibits illustrated the changes in housing and religious architecture over time, with some captivating old photographs. My favorite part, however, was climbing around the towers and eventually finding my way to the top for a view of Sfax that stretched as far as the sea. Look close enough and you’ll see it too. I also like the contrast of old and new from this viewpoint:
More pictures, along with some captions, have been uploaded to the Sfax gallery.