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Mahdia (Tunisia): what to see in the old resort town

Traveling in Tunisia: what to see in Mahdia

Mahdia is a small resort town located on the territory of Tunisia. Its construction belongs to the X century. Then Mahdia was the capital of the state. Currently, it is a quiet port town, with a population of about 40,000 people.

So, what to see in Mahdia? This place is famous for olives, silk weaving and, of course, numerous sights. There are ancient monuments of architecture, unique museum expositions, a majestic old city, and gorgeous beaches.

Sights of Mahdia

Among the places that are definitely worth a visit, arriving in this city, are the following. It:

  • beaches;
  • Medina;
  • Black gate;
  • Amphitheater El Jem;
  • Silk Weaving Museum;
  • Archaeological Museum.

The business card of the Mahdia is considered to be gorgeous beaches covered with white sand. Many tourists come to this resort to swim in the warm waves of the Mediterranean Sea, sunbathe, relax from the bustle of the city, get an energetic charge and pleasant emotions.

Mahdia is a paradise for divers. Diving centers are located in several large hotels. Amazing underwater fauna and flora of the resort is of increased interest among professionals. Beginners will be able to successfully complete special courses and begin exploring the mysterious sea depths.

Medina or the Old Town occupies almost the entire space of the peninsula and is an ancient quarter with numerous cafes, houses of local residents, and shops. Many significant places of Mahdia and attractions are located here. Tourists will be interested in walking through the narrow streets with typical Arab houses in white.

Medina resembles a large market where you can buy everything your heart desires, ranging from food to local traditional souvenirs. It sells various products from ceramics and precious metals, items made of silk.

Black gate

This magnificent construction of 40 meters in height leads from the modern resort to the very heart of the ancient Medina. Skif al-Kahla — the only reminder of the city walls, built in the tenth century. The gate was used as a defensive means. In 1554, the walls were destroyed by the Spaniards. Then the design was changed and began to be used to enter the luxurious Fatimid palace.

After the gate, a winding winding corridor begins, which stretches for more than 20 meters. Once there were mechanical lifts and massive protective grids, and today the city market has been placed. The gate can be reached using a specially equipped staircase. Top offers a stunning view of the city and the picturesque harbor.

Every week, the Black Bazaar unfolds at the Black Gate with a distinctive noise, bright colors and unique color. The area is filled with lively restaurants and colorful shopping benches, which offer a variety of goods, as well as souvenir products depicting attractions.

Amphitheater El Jem

This is a huge architectural monument, which was created in 238 by order of the then ruler. In size, El Jem is only slightly inferior to the Italian Coliseum. However, it is just as grand and beautiful. The walls of the monument are decorated with beautiful mosaics depicting animals, hunters, warriors on horseback.

Up to the XVII century, the amphitheater was preserved in its original form, and then the stones from which El Jem was built were used to build the Cathedral Mosque. During the unrest in Tunisia in the XIX century, the amphitheater was subjected to significant destruction.

Now the noble halls, made of stone, are empty. But even in the dilapidated state, El Jem looks much better than many ancient architectural monuments. Its walls remember various eras and coups, they are literally steeped in history. Tourists will be able to visit the underground corridors, located under the huge amphitheater arena. Every year in the summer there are luxurious music festivals that take place directly in the open air.

Silk Weaving Museum

Dar-al-Khimma — the second name of this unique museum, located in the building of the former mosque. Here, each visitor will be able to get acquainted with the traditional Tunisian craft, learn interesting information from the history of Mahdia. Carefully thought out expositions tell about the foundation of the first silk-weaving workshops in the city.

The museum presents antique machines that were used to create material, luxurious fabric samples, garments, ribbons, and other valuable exhibits.

Archaeological Museum

The exposition of this museum consists of old items collected in the city, as well as outside. Tourists will be able to see here the exhibits relating to different historical eras, cultural monuments, everyday things of the peoples living in Tunisia.

The archaeological museum has collected a huge number of unique exhibits. For example, here are the ancient oil lamps, ceramic products, original mosaics from El Jem, ancient statues and much more. A special place is occupied by an amazing collection of perfumes. The fragrances are stored on bright shelves in original bottles made of colored glass.

A separate hall of the museum is dedicated to Islamic art. Here are samples of calligraphy and mosaic, traditional garments, many of which were made at home. In the archaeological museum you can get acquainted with interesting options for decorating the premises.

So why from year to year tourists are so attracted to Mahdia in Tunisia and what can you see here besides historical monuments? First of all, this is a resort where people from all over the world come to enjoy a full-fledged beach holiday. And the best part is that the passive pastime here will be able to combine with the most interesting excursions and sports activities!

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