The Abou Zamaa al-Balawi mausoleum

This is one of the most venerated places in Kairouan for it contains the remains of one of the Prophet’s companions, Abou Zamaa al-Balawi, who came to Ifriqiya in the year 34 of the Hegira (654 AD), i.e. only twenty or so years after the Prophet’s death. It is said that he kept three hairs from his beard and asked to be buried with the relic after his death.

Abou Zamaa wad killed in battle with native Berbers about thirty kilometres away from Kairouan, but was buried on the site of the city before its foundation.

The mausoleum, situated on the edge of the old city, is unlike the other monuments of Kairouan. The essential of the building dates to the XVIIth century and its decoration bears very clear Andalusian and Turkish influences.

The monument is made up of three parts:
- the mausoleum strictly speaking consisting of a room at the far end of a courtyard surrounded by galleries and containing the remains of the holy man in a catafalque surmounted by an ornate cupola;
- - the ancillary buildings reserved for guests;
- - the minaret and the madrasa (religious school) as well as the oratory, the students rooms and the ablutions room.
Access to the three components is through a square courtyard, surrounded on three sides by galleries supported by pillars.


The Sidi Amor Abada Museum
The Raqqada National Museum of Islamic art
The Great Mosque of Kairouan
The Sidi Abid al-Ghariani Mausoleum
The Aghlabid basins
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