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1. The famous great mosque

2. World's oldest minaret

3. Minaret details

4. Prayer hall

5. Mosque details

6. Gates and exterior

7. Cemetary of Ouled Farhane

8. Zaouia Sidi el Ghariani

9. Bi'r Barouta

10. Mosque of the three doors

11. City wall and gates

12. Zaouia of Sidi Sahab

13. Zaouia of Sidi Amor Abbada

14. Aghlabid pools

15. Around town

16. Shopping streets

17. At night


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The famous great mosque
Kairouan, Tunisia

Kairouan, Tunisia

The Great Mosque of Kairouan dates back to 670 CE and was built by the command of Arab Muslim general Oqba bin Nafi. Although it has been destroyed a couple of times, then rebuilt, today's structure rests much upon the original mosque.
The most extensive destruction came few years after the original construction, in 688 when it was destroyed in a rebellion. The present layout was created in the 9th century, but it is hard to establish which parts date back to this date. The base of the minaret is though to be some 100 years older than this.
Still, the columns of the prayer hall are even older, having been taken from Roman and Byzantine structures in Carthage and Hadrumetum (Sousse).
Standing inside the mosque's courtyard you will probably not be able to see that everything tilts, none of the corners are 90 degrees and the minaret does not stand on the axis running from the mihrab through the entrance to the prayer hall, rather about 8 metres to the right.
The colonnade along the 3 other sides but the minaret one, is impressive. Simple and beautiful.
Kairouan, Tunisia

By Tore Kjeilen