After Kairouan, Raqqada is the
second royal city of the IXth century. It lies
10km to the south-west of Kairouan and at present
consists of more or less well conserved vestiges
inside a park of about twenty hectares in which
a presidential palace was built in the 60’s.
The palace has since been converted into a museum
and a centre specializing in research on the Islamic
civilisation in Tunisia.
The museum entrance room is devoted to the Great
Mosque of Kairouan with a splendid wooden model
built on a 1/50o scale with a section of the minaret
and the nave, thus enabling visitors to discover
the architectural particularities that a necessarily
short visit could not provide. Opposite the model
is a copy of the mosque’s mihrab (niche
indicating the direction of Mecca)
This room is followed by what is known as the
ceramics room where a large collection of ceramic
objects is displayed dating from the Aghlabid
(IXth century) and Fatimid (Xth century) periods,
essentially from the sites of Raqqada and Sabra
(not far from Kairouan).
The next room is the coins room with a very important
collection of coins covering the economic history
of Ifriqiya over more than six centuries.
The finest room of the museum is the one with
a cupola and a very elaborate ornamentation, stained
glass windows and a view over the park. Precious
glass, lead and bronze objects are exhibited in
The Korans’ room contains leaves of the
Koran on parchment. The diversity of forms, the
elegance of the different styles of calligraphy,
the extreme richness of their ornamentation make
of this collection an invaluable treasure.