Kairouan’s Great Mosque, also called the Mosque of Sidi Oqba after the founder of the city, is situated in the centre of the Medina. Originally built in 670AD, when Muslim Arabs first arrived in North Africa, it was then completely destroyed and most of what can be seen today dates from the 9th century, although many changes have taken place since then.
This is the oldest and biggest Mosque in Tunisia, and is regarded as the fourth holiest site after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. For a long time, it has been an alternative pilgrimage destination for those who are unable to go to Mecca. It is said that seven visits to Kairouan equal one visit to Mecca. The courtyard is surrounded by ancient pillars, the capitals of most of these having been taken from other buildings.
Included in the UNESCO World heritage site since 1988, it measures 9000 square meters. Whilst all visitors can enter the courtyard, the prayer hall is only accessible to Muslims. Women’s shoulders must be covered to be allowed within the mosque.
The Mosque can be visited every day between 8am and 2pm, except on Fridays when visits finish at noon. The entrance fee also covers other monuments in Kairouan.
Medinat Alzahra Parc
The Medinat Alzarha Parc provides an evenings entertainment with a sound and light show using the latest technology. There is a restaurant for meals before the show begins and the show is suitable for adults and children.
The show times are 9.30pm on Mondays, Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays. The park and restaurant is open from 8pm.