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1. The village

2. Cave houses

3. Mosque of Seven Sleepers

4. Resting by the mosque


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Hillside rock village
Chenini, Tunisia

Chenini is the most visited of the mountain villages of southern Tunisia. There are mainly three of them, Douiret and Guermessa being the others. These villages are made up of cave houses built on the slopes of a mountain with a white mosque in the midst.
In mornings often large crowds of tourists explore the village. If you want a relaxed visit, do this in afternoons. If it was a good morning, locals may let you explore without trying to get tip for every little service.
far more dramatic than you would expect from the nature in this part of Tunisia. In a steep hillside facing north, people have been building both inside and outside the mountain.
Above the village, a kalaat in bad shape is still used for storing grain, and the climate of the region makes the preservation process highly effective.
Chenini was until quite recently one of the few remaining places in Tunisia where true Berber language was still spoken. Today, knowledge of this remains, and the older women use it, but all younG people, girls and boys, use Arabic as their first language.
The whole village holds around 2-3000 inhabitants, and as is the case with Douiret, many have moved into the newer settlement 2 km down the road.

By Tore Kjeilen