Posts Tagged with “historical buildings in Africa”

Tunisia holiday and tourism guide

With magnificent beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history, there is no mystery as to why Tunisia is one of the most visited countries in Africa. The country has so much to offer it makes it hard to pinpoint exactly what to do once there. That is why we wrote this article- to help you discover the best places to visit in Tunisia.

Modern-day Tunisia is sweltering with diverse cultures left behind from ancient civilization. This is evident from some of the structures still standing there today.

We didn’t just list the famous tourist attractions; we also added a few not-so-popular ones.

Top places to visit in Tunisia

Here are the most visited spots in Tunisia:

El Djem Amphitheater

El Djem Amphitheater
Photo: WorldAllDetails

Tunisia is famous for being littered with ancient ruins from the Roman Empire. A testament to this is the El Djem Amphitheater.

The incredible structure has remained well-preserved over the years and remains one of the greatest highlights of sightseeing in Tunisia today. It is regarded as one of the best architectural structures left standing in the world.

You don’t have to look at it when you get there. Visitors and tourists are allowed to walk the corridors under the arena- and feel just like the gladiators did. You can also sit in the theater and imagine the kind of battles that took place in this very spot.


Djerba, Tunisia
Photo: Vincci Hotels

Djerba islands offer all its guests the perfect beach escape. Houmt Souk is the main attraction of the island. Like other parts of Tunisia, whitewashed houses are seen everywhere. The town also doubles as a famous shopping center where many handcrafts vendors showcase their wares

However, in a town like Houmt Souk, you want to be on the beach enjoying the sun on your skin or a cool drink under trimmed palm trees.


Carthage, Tunisia
Photo: TourHQ

The city’s name stirs up images of famous Greek characters such as Dido and Hannibal and stories set on the Mediterranean sea.  These are just a few reasons why Carthage is one of the most visited sites in Tunisia. The city has suffered centuries of Muslim attacks and Punic wars, leaving it the deserted ruin we see today.

Grand Erg Oriental

Grand Erg Oriental, Tunisia

It is effortless to forget this part of Tunisia exists. We are often shown the whitewashed shores of the country that make us long for a relaxing day on the beach. However, Tunisia has a desert that covers a significant portion of the country.

The most famous part of Tunisia’s desert is the Grand Erg Oriental- a collection of dunes. These dunes are so aesthetically pleasing they feel surreal. The chances of getting bored in a spot like this are very slim. The desert is considered a large recreational ground.

Riding dune buggies and camels is the order of the day. However, tourists have admitted that the best thing you can do is sit on one of these enormous dunes and watch the sunset.

The National Bardo Musuem

The National Bardo Musuem

Not everyone has a museum at the top of their must-visit list when exploring a new country. The National Bardo Museum is an exception; very few remain unimpressed with the building’s display.

It is considered one of North Africa’s best museums as it houses some of the world’s most important mosaic collections. Not only are the mosaics displayed beautifully, but they also hold significant meaning.

For example, some of the items curated in the Museum were used in conducting ancient Roman rituals, some involving human sacrifice. You don’t get to see something like that every day.


Kairouan, Tunisia
Photo: World Pilgramage Guide

Kairouan city is located in Central Tunisia, and it is regarded as one of the holy cities in Islam. It is the fourth most important city after Mecca.

Minarets and domes fill the skies in these parts of Tunisia since the buildings here take their inspiration from Arabic architecture, some of them beautiful beyond imagination. Mosques, madrassas, and tombs form a majority of the monuments you will find here.

Unlike other parts of Tunisia, where the houses are primarily white, houses in Kairouan are colorful, and the environment seems to enchant whoever visits it.

Read more about Kairoun here.

Ksour Country

Ksour Country
Photo: Lonely Planet

When you look at Ksour, you may find it hard to imagine that people can comfortably live there. This could be one of the reasons why  Luke Skywalker’s home planet was named after the city. Not minding its current state, Ksour is home to centuries-old villages once inhabited by Berbers and Arabs.

Sidi Bou Said

Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia
Photo: Viator

Tourists describe Sidi Bou Said as a cute village. The village sits on top of a cliff, and the view can be likened to a painting. The environment is astoundingly photogenic, so don’t forget to go there with your best camera.

Several artists have feted Sidi Bou Said, and we aren’t surprised why. The hamlet features Tunisia’s famous white walls, iron windows, and colorful doorways. Tunisian architecture at its peak.

We recommend this location for whiling away a lazy afternoon as you bask in the relaxed atmosphere. Not just that, you can also engage in abit of shopping. There are many artisans in the local markets, and you are bound to find something that catches your eye.

Bulla Regia

Bulla Regia, Tunisia

Tunisia is famous for being a playground of Roman ruins. However, Bulla Regia takes the cake as the country’s most intriguing site.

Many wonder how the city’s houses could’ve remained so well-preserved over the decades. The secret behind this is how the people constructed them. Because of the harsh weather conditions, the Romans built their villas underground.

Historians and archeology nerds shouldn’t pass up the chance to walk through Roman houses that ancient Romans once inhabited.

Sousse Medina

Sousse Medina, Tunisia
Photo: Trekearth

There’s something about the Sousse Medina that beckons on you to explore it. One of such things could be the buildings that overlook the town.

Like most parts of Tunisia, the town is filled with white houses and radiates warmth all around. We would describe Sousse Medina as a shopping paradise. If you are a lover of crafts such as ceramics, leatherwork, and metalwork, this is the place to be.


Hammamet, Tunisia
Photo: Le Royal Hotels & Resorts

Beach lovers, get in here because we have a perfect spot for you. Hammamet is a laid-back town in Tunisia dedicated to giving you the best beach vacations.

The town itself is a sight to behold. White buildings flood the streets, and they look beautiful, set beside the bright sea. Hammamet’s Mediterranean charm woos all its visitors to frolic in the sand and sunbathe.

This is the perfect spot for people who want to get away from stress. Even when you’re not lazing on the beach, you’re strolling down the streets or shopping in local stores.


Dougga, Tunisia

Dougga is one of the most important sites in North Africa. You can get to Dougga quickly within a day’s trip from Tunis or Tabarka (A beach town).

The site is decorated with well-preserved monuments, and its environment radiates tranquility. It is no wonder travelers, and tourists love the location.

It may not look like it, but this region was once a thriving town dating far back to the 6th century BC. The historical remnants littered on its grounds should be a testament to this.

Best time to visit Tunisia

This greatly depends on what part of the country you visit. The northern part of the country is more prone to the Mediterranean climate.

The central part of the country has a more arid climate, while the southern part of the country mimics a desert-like environment.

On that note, the region you choose for your stay will determine the kind of weather you should expect. However, the best time to visit Tunisia is in the months of Spring (March-June) and later in the year during fall (September-October), when temperatures are more relaxed.

Tunisia fun facts

  • Sites in Tunisia have been featured on TV. Star Wars fans are a testament to this since they constantly storm the city to discover some of these sites.
  • Virtually everyone in Tunis is a Muslim. Islam is the dominant religion in the country. Tunisia also houses Kairouan – the fourth most important Muslim city after Mecca.
  • The main languages spoken in Tunisia are Arabic and French.
  • Part of the Sahara desert is in Tunisia. Not only that, its desert is home to an erg- a vast land of dunes known as The Grand Erg Oriental.
  • Stone-aged tools dating as far back as 200,000 years ago have been discovered in Tunisia.


Tunisia has something for everyone, from whitewashed alleys to go on walks, beaches to laze on, and historical sites to explore. We hope you found this article helpful in discovering what sites to visit when visiting Tunisia. 

Check out the following 13 famous buildings to visit in Africa.

13 Famous buildings in Africa

When it comes to architecture, people’s minds wander off to America, Dubai, Australia, and other European countries. However, many people fail to consider Africa. The continent’s cultural diversity is expressed in everything from food and clothing to architectural designs.

Here’s our list of 10 famous buildings in Africa:

Clay Palace of Ghardaïa — Algeria

It seems fitting to kick off this article with a palace. After all, Africa is known as the land for the regal. And royalty inhabits a castle, not a typical house. One of the most captivating palaces in Africa is the Clay Palace of Ghardaia. As the name suggests, the structure is made entirely of clay and stone.

Structures such as these are built by the Mozabites as far back as the tenth century. From that time till today, a few of their creations, such as the clay palace, remain tall with pride. Being located in the Sahara desert, most of the buildings are made from clay. It keeps the building cool during the summer and warm in the winter.

ISKCON Gaborone — Botswana

Iskcon temple is truly a sight to behold. Its delicate colors (saffron, white, and salmon pink) create a beautiful scene behind the blue Botswanan sky. The building is three stories tall, and each floor has its unique intricate design.

The first and second floors have a 1300 square foot hall. The first floor serves as living quarters for the priests, while its hall is used for dining. It has a fully equipped kitchen and store. The second floor is used as a temple room. In it, you can find a golden altar for Sri Krishna Balarama, a stage, and changing rooms for programs. The last floor also features another hall used for meditation and chanting.

St. Paul’s Cathedral — Côte d’Ivoire

St. Paul’s Cathedral is located in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The Church was designed and built by Aldo Spirito. Among other functions, the cathedral also serves as the mother church for the Abidjan Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

On the building’s exterior, we have a cross with its arms flanked. It is held up by cables connected to the church building. The reason for the cross’s unusual shape is one with symbolic significance. The structure is meant to mimic the statue of Lord Jesus with his arms akin in Rio.

The cathedral has a total capacity of approximately 5000 people, out of which 3500 are seated and the remainder stand.

One Airport Square — Ghana

Contrary to what one might think, One Airport Square is not an airport but a multi-functional building. It is located in the center of Ghana, Accra. The nine-story building is a host of office spaces, while the ground floor is used for commercial purposes. The building is also used for exhibitions and events.

It was built by Italian architect Mario Cucinella. His unusual design makes it difficult to look at it without turning your head to get a second look- this had resulted in it becoming a famous landmark.

Great Mosque of Djenné — Mali

The Great Mosque of Djenné could be referred to as a wonder of Africa. Not just because of its aesthetic appeal but also for its architectural genius. It is located on the flood plain of the Bani River. It currently holds the record for being the largest mud building in the world.

The structure’s design is common to the region of West Africa, where it is found. The buildings in this region are commonly made with mud-bricks, adobe plaster, and wooden beams. The structure is mainly open, and as one would imagine, it is prone to erosion from many elements.

Local skilled mud masons are hired to maintain the structure regularly and prevent it from collapsing or slowly eroding.

Church of Saint Anthony of Polana — Mozambique

St. Anthony’s Church is situated in Maputo, Mozambique. Construction of the building began in 1962 and ended two years later upon its completion. The building is born of modernist architecture. It was built by Portuguese architect Nuno Cavreiro Lopes.

This building made it to our list because of its uncommon shape. Due to its shape, it is popularly known as the “lemon squeezer.” The building’s windows have colorful crystals in them that allow the entrance of light in several colors. A sight that many

Christuskirche — Namibia

Christuskirche looks like something that fell out of a German fairytale. Its color scheme makes it easy for one to imagine a gingerbread man living inside. Located in Windhoek, Namibia, Christuskirche is regarded as a landmark in the area.

The building paints an excellent picture of German neo-Romanic architecture at the time it was built. Its walls are made of quartz sandstone imported from Avis Dam, while its portal is crafted from Italian marble. The Church’s bronze bells are imported from Germany.

As you can imagine, the German community of Windhoek played a significant role in ensuring the building is completed; They donated stained windows, decorative plaques, and even bibles.

National Theatre — Nigeria

The National Theater is located in Western Nigeria, specifically in the city of Lagos. The theatre is still considered one of the best architectural monuments in Nigeria to date. A Bulgarian construction company constructed the National Theater in the 70s during the military regime of Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo.

The building’s exterior is synonymous with a military hat- we commend the architect for this clever play on detail. The auditorium has a capacity of about 5000, and the hall a capacity of approximately 1000. The hall is even facilitated with equipment to translate eight languages simultaneously.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina — Egypt

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is located in Alexandria, Egypt. From the look of the building, you may have already guessed it is a library. The building is 11 stories tall and houses over 4 million books.

The building is more than just a library; it also performs other functions. It has a planetarium, many museums, a school for information science. The library is inspired by an attempt to revive the ancient city of Alexandria.

We think the best way to describe this building’s design is bold and timeless. The monument represents learning and culture.

Great Mosque of Touba — Senegal

There are few things as beautiful as religion and architecture coming together. In Mouride, Senegal, the pair came together and gave birth to what we know today as the Great Mosque of Touba. The structure can be viewed from virtually any vantage point in the city.

The mosque is presumed to be the largest building in the city and the largest mosque in Africa. It has a capacity of about 7000 people. Since its completion in the early ’60s, the building has continued to attract worshippers and tourists from around the world.

The Great Mosque has undergone many additions and embellishments since it was completed. It features five minarets and three large domes where the founder of the Mouride brotherhood, Amadou Bamba, lies buried.

Monuments des Martyrs — Burkina Faso

Monuments de martyrs, also known as Monument to National Heroes, is located in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou. Without a doubt, the building is one of the country’s most unique landmarks.

The structure is symbolic; it represents the people whose lives were lost in the revolution. Few people have compared Monument des Martyrs to the Eiffel Tower. We can’t say why since they look nothing alike.

Church of St George, Lalibela — Ethiopia

Ethiopia has a long history characterized by royalty, dynasties, and religion that goes as far back as 3000 years ago. A town in Ethiopia, Lalibela has a few medieval churches that it has preserved to date. One of them is the Church of St George.

The Church’s roof is shaped like a crucifix, and this is the most visible part of the Church. Its interior boasts of images, carvings, and other symbols relevant to Christendom and beyond. An example of such items includes the star of David with a cross carved inside and a two-headed eagle.

While we admit this structure is not as mind-blowing as the others in terms of modern architecture, it is still a marvel to behold, considering how old it is.

Ishnashri Dispensary in Zanzibar — Tanzania

Better known as the “Old Dispensary,” it is perhaps one of the most attractive landmarks on the waterfront. This historical building is located halfway between the Palace Museum and the harbor. It is called the “old dispensary” because it functioned as one in the first half of the twentieth century.

The building’s appearance is of Indian influence since it was built by an Indian. The main structure is built with materials from Zanzibar. On the interior, you will find that the Dispensary is sophisticatedly decorated. The Dispensary is one of Stone Town’s major tourist attractions.


This list proves that Africa has always been a force to reckon with when it comes to structural designs. Buildings such as Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Monuments des Martyrs are one side of the coin, portraying modern architecture. While the Great Mosque boasts of the ingenious methods used by Africans in architecture.

If you are interested in exploring different tourist attractions, why not start with these places from the eastern part of the continent.

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