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The Medina of Tunis is the Medina quarter of Tunis, capital of Tunisia. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

The Medina contains some 700 monuments, including palaces, mosques, mausoleums, madrasas and fountains dating from the Almohad and the Hafsid periods.

History

Founded in 698 around the original core of the Zitouna Mosque, the Medina of Tunis developed throughout the Middle Ages. The main axis was between the mosque and the centre of government to the west in the kasbah. To the east this same main road extended to the Bab el Bhar. Expansions to the north and south divided the main Medina into two suburbs north (Bab Souika) and south (Bab El Jazira).

Before the Almohad Caliphate, other cities such as Mahdia and Kairouan had served as capitals. Under Almohad rule, Tunis became the capital of Ifriqiya, and under the Hafsid period it developed into a religious, intellectual and economic center. It was during the Hafsid period that the Medina as we now know it took on its essential form. It gradually acquired a number of buildings and monuments combining the styles of Ifriqiya, Andalusian and Oriental influences, but also borrowing some of the columns and capitals of Roman and Byzantine monuments.