Bassins Aghlabites

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Kairouan, Tunisia

Bassins Aghlabites Kairouan Reviews

EmEm EmEm
159 reviews
Water for Life Jul 04, 2016
As the city of Kairouan was founded in a semi-arid zone, the location was short in drinking water resources, the caliph of Damascus ordered his governor in Kairouan to build fifteen or so water reservoirs.

Bassins Aghlabites are cisterns built in 734-741 by the Aghlabids, as the name says. They were part of an elaborate 9th century water system which collected rain from the Tell Plateau of Atlas mountain. Water was delivered by 35km long aqueduct from the hills west of Kairouan. It was first collected into the smaller settling basin and then into the enormous main holding basin.

Two monumental basins as well as a few cisterns have survived through centuries. They are an example of the majestic hydraulic installations and considered to have been the largest during the Middle ages. The cisterns are more impressive because of their engineering sophistication than as sights in themselves. In the centre of the main pool was a pavilion where the rulers could come to relax on summer evenings.

Today, the complex, recently enriched with new installations excavated during terracing work, has been turned into a park with facilities for visitors. The access is allowed for everyone at any time of day. A visitor can also take a look of the cisterns from the rooftop of the Agence Nationale du Patrimonie office with the entrance ticket.
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