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Name of Monument:

Sahib el-Tabaa Mosque

Location:

Place Halfaouine, Tunis medina , Tunisia

Responsible Institution (original language):

Ministère des Affaires Religieuses

Date of Monument:

17th–18th centuries

History:

This mosque was the last great work of the Husainid dynasty of Tunisia. It was built by the powerful Youssef Saheb el-Tabaa between 1808 and 1814. Being the richest man in the country during Hammouda Pacha Bey's reign, he used his wealth to set up a variety of activities around his mosque, such as two madrasas and the tomb of its founder, similar to the Turkish Konya. The décor and ornamentation reflect Western influences, with a narrow and elegant minaret.

Description:

This mosque's imposing height dominates the Place Halfaouine. The layout of the mosque is organised around its main prayer room, which is composed of nine naves and seven bays. The barrel-vaulted ceiling is covered in stucco, and decorated with vegetative and floral motifs and with geometric elements, such as stripes and stars, reflecting both its Italian and Turkish influences. It is also boasts of having the only five-domed prayer room in the city. The walls are covered in marble panels imported from Carrara (Italy) and ceramic tiles from Qallaline. The thin tall columns are ribbed and topped with composite capitals. The mihrab's polychromatic decoration is mixed with the pseudo-gothic arches and floral motifs. The Sahib el-Tabaaa mosque is noteable for being one of the clearest examples of the Italian influences on religious architecture.

Citation of this web page:

Saloua Khadhar Zangar "Sahib el-Tabaa Mosque " in "Sharing History", Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://www.sharinghistory.org/database_item.php?id=monument;awe;tn;10;en

Database entry origination:

Prepared by: Saloua Khadhar Zangar
Translation by: Flaminia Baldwin

MWNF Working Number: TN 010

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