The medina (souq) marketplace is the ancient core of Tunis, since the 7th century. Narrow alleyways are lined with hundreds of tiny shops and stalls selling everything from ladies underwear to sweet pastries. Every corner is a different scene, from pizza bakeries to cafes with hookah pipes for rent. Its crowded, colorful and noisy. The main mosque is Zaytouna that dates from the 8th century. Some of the mosque’s columns were taken from the ruins of nearby Carthage, not an easy task since a single column weighs several tons. During the French occupation of Tunisia in the 19-20th centuries the city grew far beyond the medina and is now a modern city of 2.5 million people.

 

Avenue Bourguiba is the main boulevard that leads through the
Avenue Bourguiba is the main boulevard that leads through the new city to the old medina marketplace.
The ancient Port du France is the main entrance to
The ancient Port du France is the main entrance to the medina. It was once part of the city walls, which no longer stand. Note the modern dress of most people. Tunisia is an Arab-Muslim western-oriented city with much European influence since it was under French control from late 19th century to 1956.
Looking through the Port du France to the colonial buildings
Looking through the Port du France to the colonial buildings beyond.
Inside the medina are narrow crowded alleyways with countless stalls
Inside the medina are narrow crowded alleyways with countless stalls and shops sellingevery kind of merchandise.
Ladies apparel can be vary plain or very decorative.
Ladies apparel can be vary plain or very decorative.
Young women often wear jeans of various colors.
Young women often wear jeans of various colors.
Sticky pastries for sale along the narrow walkways
Sticky pastries for sale along the narrow walkways
Souvenir drums.
Souvenir drums.
Entrance to the El-Kachachine hammam bath house
Entrance to the El-Kachachine hammam bath house
The father and son who run the El-Kachachine hammam bath
The father and son who run the El-Kachachine hammam bath house.
Entry hall of El-Kachachine hammam bath house
Entry hall of El-Kachachine hammam bath house
Ancient worn steps lead to a typical arched doorway.
Ancient worn steps lead to a typical arched doorway.
Grains and beans for sale in the medina.
Grains and beans for sale in the medina.
Men dressed in usual dark clothes smoking tobaccothrough hookas (water
Men dressed in usual dark clothes smoking tobaccothrough hookas (water pipes) in a tiny cafe watching soccer, the most popular sport in the country.
Many doors in the medina are decorated with patterns of
Many doors in the medina are decorated with patterns of studs as a show of affluence.
Minaret of the Hamuda Pasha mosque, one of several in
Minaret of the Hamuda Pasha mosque, one of several in the medina.
Many doors in the medina are decorated with patterns of
Many doors in the medina are decorated with patterns of studs as a show of affluence.
Dar El Jeld upscale French restaurant in the medina.
Dar El Jeld upscale French restaurant in the medina.
Dar El Jeld upscale French restaurant in the medina.
Dar El Jeld upscale French restaurant in the medina.
Dinnerware at Dar El Jeld restaurant in the medina.
Dinnerware at Dar El Jeld restaurant in the medina.
More decorated doors.
More decorated doors.
Medina narrow souq alley.
Medina narrow souq alley.
Souvenir decorative miniature mirrors.
Souvenir decorative miniature mirrors.
Ubiquitous rugs are everywhere.
Ubiquitous rugs are everywhere.
Old man plodding his way along a souq,
Old man plodding his way along a souq,
Another decorative door with paintings for sale.
Another decorative door with paintings for sale.
Old man resting next to an ancient column and a
Old man resting next to an ancient column and a studded window shutter.
Overview of the famous Zaytouna mosque.
Overview of the famous Zaytouna mosque.
City view with Hamuda Pasha minaret.
City view with Hamuda Pasha minaret.
View from a decorative viewpoint.
View from a decorative viewpoint.
Close-up of Zaytouna mosque dome.
Close-up of Zaytouna mosque dome.
Minaret tower of Zaytouna mosque.
Minaret tower of Zaytouna mosque.
Another decorative door leading to ...?
Another decorative door leading to ...?
Medina clothing shop in front of a colonial facade.
Medina clothing shop in front of a colonial facade.
Boys selling coconut meat in front of medina entry.
Boys selling coconut meat in front of medina entry.
Interior courtyard of a small mall.
Interior courtyard of a small mall.
Upscale cafe in front of National Theatre.
Upscale cafe in front of National Theatre.
Arab men friends often hang on each other. This is
Arab men friends often hang on each other. This is probably a posed photo of two gay men.(Not taken by GlobalGayz)
Two students in central Tunis walking past graffiti wall slogans.
Two students in central Tunis walking past graffiti wall slogans.
Catholic cathedral of St Vincent de Paul in central Tunis.
Catholic cathedral of St Vincent de Paul in central Tunis. Religious diversity is a feature of urban Tunisian society.
Trolley car in front of cathedral of St Vincent de
Trolley car in front of cathedral of St Vincent de Paul. Note barbed wire in background.
Military presence in front of cathedral of St Vincent de
Military presence in front of cathedral of St Vincent de Paul. In the 2011 revolution the military did not take sides but they surrounded important buildings for protection.
Barbed wire along Avenue Bourguiba. In the 2011 revolution the
Barbed wire along Avenue Bourguiba. In the 2011 revolution the military did not take sidesbut they surrounded important buildings for protection. This one in front of the French embassy.
Barbed wire along Avenue Bourguiba. In the 2011 revolution the
Barbed wire along Avenue Bourguiba. In the 2011 revolution the military did not take sides but they surrounded important buildings for protection. This one in front of the cathedral.
Barbed wire along Avenue Bourguiba. In the 2011 revolution the
Barbed wire along Avenue Bourguiba. In the 2011 revolution the military did not take sides but they surrounded important buildings for protection.This one in front of the French embassy.
Barbed wire along Avenue Bourguiba. In the 2011 revolution the
Barbed wire along Avenue Bourguiba. In the 2011 revolution the military did not take sides but they surrounded important buildings for protection. This one in front of government buildings.
Clock tower
Clock tower
Staggered architecture of an office building.
Staggered architecture of an office building.
On the western edge of the medina are government buildings
On the western edge of the medina are government buildings on Place de Gouvernment.
On the western edge of the medina are government buildings
On the western edge of the medina are government buildings on Place de Gouvernment. This is the finance ministry.
On the western edge of the medina are government buildings
On the western edge of the medina are government buildings on Place de Kasbah.
On the western edge of the medina are government buildings
On the western edge of the medina are government buildings on Place de Kasbah. This is Tunis City Hall with monument tower.
On the western edge of the medina are government buildings
On the western edge of the medina are government buildings on Place de Kasbah. This is Tunis City Hall with monument tower.
On the tram going out of town is this view
On the tram going out of town is this view of Tunis port.
One of many modern buildings in suburban Tunis.
One of many modern buildings in suburban Tunis.
The Tunis airport is in the suburb, not far from
The Tunis airport is in the suburb, not far from the city center.