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Name of Monument:

Tourbet el Bey

Location:

Tunis medina , Tunisia

Responsible Institution (original language):

Institut National du Patrimoine

Date of Monument:

18th–19th centuries

History:

The Tourbet El Bey monument is Tunisia's largest and most famous royal mausoleum from Ottoman or Husainid times, notable for its architecture and exterior, as well as for its size and number of cupolas and tombs. It was built by 'Ali Pacha Bey II, the fourth bey of the Hussainid dynasty, around 1770. A kouttab, a sabil, and a large madrasa were also founded in association with this mausoleum. This necropolis for the Beys of Tunis holds the tombs of the Husainids and their families, as well as those of a few important members of the nobility or loyal servants and ministers.

Description:

This funerary complex, composed of eight spacious rooms, is set around two courtyards, one surrounded by porticos and another open-air. The rooms and patios contain the tombs of 165 different beys who had governed Tunis from 1759 to 1942. The room for the ruling beys is notable for by its Arab-style cupolas, similar to those in the Sidi Mahrez Mosque.

A second room is covered by a barrel vault - unique to Tunisia - decorated with wonderfully carved stuccos. The walls, on the other hand, are decorated in an Italian style with slabs of coloured stone or marble marquetery. The rooms are all decorated with faience ceramics, which are evidence of this necropolis' European and Arab influences as they were both imported from Europe and locally produced. This monument-cum-museum houses one of the most important collections of funerary inscriptions

Citation of this web page:

Saloua Khadhar Zangar "Tourbet el Bey" in "Sharing History", Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://www.sharinghistory.org/database_item.php?id=monuments;AWE;tn;17;en

Database entry origination:

Prepared by: Saloua Khadhar Zangar
Translation by: Flaminia Baldwin

MWNF Working Number: TN 017

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