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Kairouan, Tunisia

Kairouan was founded in the year 670 AD. The romantic story has it that the general of the invading Arab forces - Oqba bin Nafi - found a golden cup in the sands here, a golden cup that he had lost in the holy well of Zamzam in Mecca a few years earlier.

When picking the cup up, water sprang from the ground, which helped to foster Kairouan’s close affinity with Islam.

Kairouan's architecture and heritage

Kairouan is broadly considered the holiest city of Tunisia, being the oldest Islamic settlement, having the oldest mosque in North Africa and the world’s oldest minaret.

The Great Mosque dates back to 670, and although it has been destroyed a couple of times, then rebuilt, today’s structure closely resembles the original mosque.

The oldest parts of the Mosque are without doubt the 414 Roman columns decorating the prayer hall, pillaged from the El Jem region and from as far afield as Carthage. The Great Mosque is of great architectural beauty and an essential component of any visit to Kairouan.

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who's been there

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Kairouan by calling one of our Tunisia specialists on 1 800 817 965

Suggested itineraries featuring Kairouan

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Kairouan, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Kairouan

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Kairouan

    Accommodation choices for Kairouan

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Kairouan. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.