Getting back to the coast
Mahdia Travel Blog› entry 16 of 20 › view all entries
After spending almost a week in the dry interior of the country I get back to the coast and out here the landscape is much greener than what I have gotten used to in the dry land far from the coast. I am staying in a small city at the coast called Mahdia. The city used to be an important city under the Fatimid caliphate who founded the city back in 916. They used the city as a base from where they could plan there further exploits which led to the conquest of
The city back then must have been a formidable base it used to be located on a small peninsula with a big wall around it protecting the city from attacks both from land and sea. The Fatimid left the city in 947 after staying in the city for just under 30 years. Afterwards other people went in to occupy the old medina which crew to a thriving city and in the 14th century the city had become the richest city of the area.
The old medina is still occupied by locals but the city has grown outside the old walled city.
I get down to the city to see the sunset and the sunrise - not at the same time even though it would have been convenient - there are always something special when you can watch a the sun going down or up over the sea. When you walk along the coast of the peninsula you can see the remains of the wall which used to protect the city against attacks from the sea.
The main building in the old city is the main fort on the tip of the peninsula it is dominating the area. Outside the fort is a cemetery which covers the rest of the area on the tip of the peninsula. It is a bit surprising to see a cemetery taking up such a big area which must be the most valuable property off the entire area. Some of the graves seem to be very old but others are only a couple of years old - hence the cemetery is still in use to this day.
Inside the main city the big attraction is the great mosque. Originally the mosque was built by the Fatimids but it was destroyed - hence the present mosque is a recreation of later day. The mosque is a bit strange since it is one of the few mosque which do not have a minaret attaches. It used to have a minaret but it was destroyed and never reconstructed.
Right next to the great mosque is a small café. The café is attached to a sort of museum which is the centered around an inner courtyard with beautiful rooms around the courtyard. The rooms are beautiful with nice old furniture and nice wood carvings. I leave this pretty old place to go to one of the really old and impressive places in this country.