Souks of Tunis
The souks of Tunis are a set of shops and boutiques located in the medina of Tunis, capital of Tunisia. Most of the souks were built under the Hafsid dynasty in the 13th century and near the Al-Zaytuna Mosque.
They are organized in several streets and alleys.
- 1 Souk Ech-Chaouachine
- 2 Souk El Attarine
- 3 Souk El Berka
- 4 Souk El Bey
- 5 Souk El Blaghgia
- 6 Souk El Blat
- 7 Souk El Fekka
- 8 Souk El Grana
- 9 Souk El Kébabgia
- 10 Souk El Kmach
- 11 Souk El Koutbiya
- 12 Souk El Leffa
- 13 Souk El Nissa
- 14 Souk El Trouk
- 15 Souk En Nhas
- 16 Souk Es Sabbaghine
- 17 Souk Es Sarragine
- 18 Notes and references
- 19 See also
- 20 External links
The three souks that form the souk Ech-Chaouachine were built by the Muradid sovereign Mohamed Bey El Mouradi in 1691–1692. At that time, Andalusian immigrants imported the chachia production technique.
Souk El AttarineEdit
Built in 1240 by the Hafsid sovereign Abu Zakariya Yahya, the souk El Attarine or souk of perfumers is the oldest souk of Tunis. It is located just behind the Al-Zaytuna Mosque. When this souk was built, nobles and business owners were the only ones with the right to do this job. Therefore, it was considered one of the finest. Fragrances compounds of rare and valuable species were sold, there was also incense from India and Yemen, as well as some cosmetics.
Souk El BerkaEdit
This souk has a square form, with a wooden platform in the middle which was the place where slaves were presented and waited for the outcome of the sale. Potential buyers were sitting on benches around the souk and participated in the auction. The white slaves, considered the rarest and most valuable, were not sold in the souk but in more remote locations because the sale concerned only wealthy potential buyers. The abolition of slavery in Tunisia was declared by Ahmad I ibn Mustafa in 1846 and caused the transformation of the souk into souk of jewelers specializing in silverware.
Souk El BeyEdit
Souk El BlaghgiaEdit
The souk El Blaghgia was founded by Abu Zakariya Yahya in the early 18th century. It is located between souk El Attarine and the Kasbah Street. This souk is specialized in the sale of balghas, a shoe made from leather.
Souk El BlatEdit
Souk El FekkaEdit
The souk El Fekka is located directly in front of the Al-Zaytuna Mosque, near the souk El Attarine. It sells ingredients necessary to prepare cakes for various celebrations such as circumcision, marriage or Eid al-Fitr.
Souk El GranaEdit
Souk El KébabgiaEdit
Souk El Kebabjia is located west of Al-Zaytuna Mosque, in parallel to Souk El Berka and close to Souk El Trouk from one end and to Souk Es Sekajine from the other end. It is specialized in the traditional clothing accessories.
Souk El KmachEdit
Souk El KoutbiyaEdit
Souk El LeffaEdit
The souk El Leffa, also called Souk of Djerbians, is known for the sale of wool products through merchants from the island of Djerba. Artisans also make the traditional sefseri (a traditional outfit for women).
Souk El NissaEdit
Em Nissa means Women in Arabic. This souk is located at the south of Al-Zaytuna Mosque, near the souk of wool. Women used to come to buy and sell goods.
Souk El TroukEdit
This souk was built in 1620 by Yusuf Dey. It is located between the Al-Zaytuna Mosque and the centers of Ottoman power, the Kasbah and Dar El Bey. It was dedicated to Turkish customers and craftsmen; Turkish craftsmen were replaced gradually by Jewish craftsmen.
This souk is now the place where items like flea markets and antiques are sold.
Souk En NhasEdit
Souk Es SabbaghineEdit
The souk Es Sabbaghine, or souk of Dyers, is located on the outskirts of the medina, far away from the Al-Zaytuna Mosque because dyeing is considered a polluting activity. The denomination Es Sabbaghine or Dyers originates from the dyeing of wool, cotton and silk.
Today, the souk sells a variety of products, especially ready-to-wear clothes and shoes, but also fish and meat.
Souk Es SarragineEdit
Notes and referencesEdit
- "Médina de Tunis". inp.rnrt.tn (in French). Retrieved 17 November 2015.
- "Souk el Attarine". culture.alecso.org (in French). Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "Souk Al Belghajiya". commune-tunis.gov.tn (in French). Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- Walid Khefifi. "Souk El Blat entre phytothérapie et sorcellerie : randonnée dans un lieu magique de croyances populaires". tunisia-today.com (in French). Retrieved 27 December 2015.
- Ousmane Wagué. "Souk El Blat : "Désherbage" et oubli". tunisia-today.com (in French). Retrieved 27 December 2015.
- "Souk el Fekka". culture.alecso.org (in French). Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- "Souk Al Grana". commune-tunis.gov.tn (in French). Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "Souk El Leffa". tunisiepromo.com (in French). Retrieved 3 January 2016.
- Paul Sebag (1998). Tunis : histoire d'une ville (in French). Paris: L'Harmattan. pp. 366–367.