Port of Sfax
Cruising and Travel

The City of Sfax (French) is not a major tourist destination, but it does contain a few sights well worth the visit. The Port of Sfax has a semi-arid Mediterranean climate dominated by long periods of warm dry weather with a brief cool winter.

All towns in North Africa have a Kasbah, an official fortified residence. The Almohad dynasty spread their use across the region in the 12th Century. Many were incorporated into larger fortifications. Unlike many such structures in North Africa and Tunisia, the Port of Sfax' Kasbah has been carefully restored and reflects its original grandeur. Used as a military garrison by the French from 1881 to 1956, the French portions have been removed. Located within the old city walls, the Port of Sfax Kasbah is a 16th Century monument with towers (offering wonderful views of the Port of Sfax) on either side and an artillery bastion. Today, the Kasbah contains rooms displaying the history of the Port of Sfax' famous construction and metal-working industries. There are also displays about religious architecture and an underground mosque.

The Dar Djellouli is the home of the Djellouli family which produced several governors of Sfax during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Also called the Governor's Mansion, the Dar Djellouli is a good example of traditional architecture in the medina. The rooms that encircle a central open courtyard contain items from the 1800s and period costumes as well as many other objects of interest.

Just 12 kilometers southwest of the Port of Sfax, the archaeological site of Thyna was a big city in the Roman-Byzantine periods. It was surrounded by a 3500-meter long wall. Archaeologist Nebiha Jeddi excavated the area from the 1980s, but threats of degradation forced closure for the public in the late 1990s. Today, the Port of Sfax is considering the potential of the site for tourism.

The Port of Sfax' Archaeological Museum in City Hall holds a collection of mosaics from the Roman settlements of Thyna and Taparura as well as collections from all periods in Tunisian history. The collections are explained by signage in several languages.

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