The Ribat of Sousse
15 x 28 cm
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Founded in the last quarter of the VIIIth century, the ribat of Sousse is the oldest Islamic building to have survived in Tunisia. The monument had a religious, economic and military vocation reminiscent both of an oriental caravanserai and a Roman
The ribat, with its vast prayer room and storerooms, is surrounded by imposing walls flanked by round towers. A large part of the upper floor is occupied by cells for ascetics responsible for the surveillance of the coastline. Fires lit at the top of the cylindrical watchtowers signalled the presence of Christian fleets and served to warn the other forts built along the coastline. According to tradition, this chain of lights made it possible to correspond from Alexandria to Centa in one night.