The Medina in Mahdia is located on a peninsula on the East coast of Tunisia. Founded around the year 916AD by the first Fatimid Caliph, Obeid Allah, its name comes from the latter's nickname, El-Mahdi which means the saviour of the world.
The Medina was originally fortified with a wall that was 10 m thick in places, and today visitors enter it through Skifa-el-Kahla, the door built in the 10th century, destroyed and rebuilt by the Spanish in 1554. The old town is made up of dwellings, a souq and a sea-side cemetery. Several architectural styles are found within the Medina, and among the monuments one counts the Great Mosque and the Mustapha Hamza Mosque, Borj el-Jebir (a military fortress), the Fatimid harbour and fortifications.
Among the wares on offer, visitors can find woven cloths for which the city is famous, and it is sometimes possible to enter workshops and watch loom workers producing them.
The daily fish market and the weekly Friday market are frequented by locals and tourists alike.