Tourbet el Bey
Tunis
 
 

This monument is the necropolis of the reigning princes of the Husseinid dynasty and their families. The dynasty ruled Tunisia from 1705 to 1957.

The monument dates to the second half of the XVIIIth century. This imposing building is shaped like an irregular quadrangle with rectangular windows opening on its outside wall. It is crowned with cupolas, the main ones being covered with round green tiles that look like scales.

A monumental door leads into the building giving onto a vast hall whose decoration is clearly of Italian influence. The tendency is confirmed inside the monument where it harmonizes with the Ottoman style present in the building’s main room where the reigning princes are buried and which is reminiscent of the layout of Saint Sophia in Turkey. A stone paved patio scattered with graves separates the hall from the main room and leads to other rooms, some of which open into each other. Here lie the sovereigns’ relatives and close associates; the men recognizable by the headdress carved of marble surmounting their epitaph, while the women are indicated by simple plaques.

The ceilings, either vaulted or in the form of cupolas, are adorned with stucco carved geometric and vegetal decorations, sometimes polychrome. The walls are generally clad with ceramic tiles.

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