Introduction

Cities across the globe are experiencing unprecedented pressures derived from ongoing processes of
urbanization and climate change. Urban poverty, gentrification or outdated infrastructures are just some of
the consequences observed, with increased intensity in LMIC. The imminent need for more resilient,
sustainable, inclusive and safe cities is recognized by SDG 11 (UN 2015), and echoed in UCL’s
Sustainable Cities Grand Challenge. In historic contexts, further pressures arise from globalization and
mass tourism, leading in many cases to radical and fast transformations of historic urban quarters that are
either abandoned or gentrified and turned into international tourism havens (Hayes 2020). These
processes compromise the sustainability of historic cities and their communities at all interconnected
levels – social, cultural, environmental and economic.
The intrinsic link between culture and sustainable development is well established, with culture and
heritage gaining significant weight as agents of change in the last decades (Wiktor-Mach 2019).
Understanding this relationship and exploring ways to utilise culture to drive positive and just social change
responds to UCL’s Cultural Understanding Grand Challenge.

Despite the augmented challenges faced by historic cities, these hold great potential to generate positive
change through sustainable heritage-led regeneration. It is crucial to develop frameworks and strategies
for heritage-led regeneration capable, not only of protecting fragile cultural forms -be these tangible or
intangible- that are associated with the historic quarters , but also of delivering just and equitable
opportunities that protect the needs and interests of vulnerable communities. This is paramount in LMIC, in
particular where economic pressures are acute, governance systems may be compromised and other
issues such as land tenure or lack of access to public infrastructure could be present.
In 2011, Tunisia went through a national revolution that marked the start of the Arab Spring and led to
a change in the country’s political regime. Cultural changes have followed, including a revived interest
in Tunisian heritage and cultural expressions.
The Medina of Tunis, an outstanding World Heritage Site, experienced a degree of neglect and
abandonment since the mid-20c, when political and social change led to the decay of the traditional
social and economic structures of the medina. The main historic economic activities based on
craftsmanship and souks declined and many high and middle income residents of the medina
relocated to new modern European-like quarters around the capital. The medina lost much of its
population and social activity and progressively lost much of its traditional economic activity. Many
buildings stayed empty or occupied by lower income families, unable to face the costs of regular
maintenance, leading over time to physical decay of the built environment.
In the last decade there is renewed enthusiasm for the medina across Tunis residents. Unlike other
WH medinas in North Africa, such as Marrakech or Fez, the Medina in Tunis has not yet caved under
the pressures of global tourism and still serves primarily the needs of the local population. The medina
is therefore at a point at which it requires attention and careful thought to devise multi-stakeholder
strategies and projects to protect and revitalize tangible and intangible heritage in the medina, in a
sustainable and equitable way, for and with the local communities.
In a recent survey carried out by Blue Fish (2020), a total of 125 abandoned historical buildings are
identified in the medina of Tunis. These unoccupied buildings have reached a level of decay that
threatens their integrity and constitute widely-spread pockets of inactivity across the medina. Nearly 1
out of 3 of these buildings are municipal property, presenting an extraordinary opportunity to contribute
to the social revitalization of the medina by strategically considering their conservation and return to

use in ways that engage and serve the local communities while promoting the green recovery of the
historic quarter and promote living heritage.
This project builds on the 2019 Bartlett Innovation Fund project Collaboratory for the Sustainable
Conservation of Heritage in the Medina of Tunis, led by Dr A. Albuerne, which forged the collaboration
with local partners and led to the identification of research priorities towards the sustainable heritage-
led regeneration of the Medina of Tunis.

TEAM

Alejandra

Alejandra Albuerne

Alejandra was appointed Lecturer in Sustainable Heritage at the UCL Institute for
Sustainable Heritage in September 2017, where she is Assistant Course Director of the MSc
Sustainable Heritage.

Alejandra has worked in the field of architecture for over 17 years, both in academia and in
industry. She has spent 9 of these years in industry working for structural engineering and
architectural firms in London and Madrid, such as Alan Baxter and Associates, Ecosistema
Urbano and Arup. She has design experience in state-of-the-art new construction, as well as
in conservation of historic landmarks.Alejandra has also worked in international development, collaborating with built environment
and engineering charities, such as Engineers Without Borders and Architecture Sans
Frontieres. In 2016 she spent an extended period in Nepal, working on the post-earthquake
recovery of the Kathmandu Valley.
In academia Alejandra has worked with Professor Santiago Huerta on the mechanics of
masonry structures at the School of Architecture of Madrid and in 2010 she obtained an
EPSRC scholarship to do a PhD at Oxford Unviersity across Engineering Science and
Archaeology, studying masonry vaulted structures in seismic areas.
Alejandra then spent two years as Stipendiary Lecturer in Engineering Science at Oxford
University and in March 2017 she joined UCL as research associate in EPICentre, part of the
Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering.

cata

catalina Ortiz

Catalina Ortiz is a Colombian urbanist. She uses critical pedagogies and decolonial
methodologies to study the politics of space production in cities of the global south in order to
find alternative ways to forge spatial-racial-epistemic justice.

She currently works as
Associate Professor and co-Programme Leader of the MSc Building and Urban Design in
Development at University College London.

dina

Dina Mneimneh

Dina Mneimneh is an urban designer, architect and researcher, graduate of University College London, UK with a particular focus on cultural heritage, urban storytelling and public placemaking.

Her approach to design is multidisciplinary and cross-scalar with projects in
architecture, urban design, landscape architecture and heritage preservation in different
contexts.  Her particular interest in sustainable urban development led to research contributions
on local and international historic urban environments. Her co-authored book chapter on framing
heritage in downtown Beirut was recently published by Routledge, 2021.
She is a research coordinator at the Department of Architecture and Design of the American
University of Beirut, Lebanon. She is also co-leading a design unit of the MA Architectural Design
programme at the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University, UK.

Efm-qeiq_400x400

Houssem Eddine Chachia

Houssem Eddine Chachia is Assistant Professor at University of Tunis
(Tunisia), member of laboratory Regions and Heritage Resources of Tunisia.

Coordinator Tunisia of the program New Generation of Social Scientists in the
Arab Region, at Arab Council for the Social Sciences (Beirut).

Was a visiting
fellow at Center for Middle Eastern Studies - Harvard University (2017-
2018). He mainly works on minorities in the Mediterranean, particularly the
expulsion of Moriscos.

He is interested in the processes and complexities of
identity formation, and the relationship between the West and the Arab-Muslim
world (especially the Maghreb) in modern era. His publications include: The
Sephardic and Moriscos: The Journey of expulsion and installation in the
Maghreb (1492-1756), stories and itineraries.” (Beirut, 2015); Entre las orillas
de dos mundos. El itinerario del jerife morisco Mūḥamed Ibn Abd Al-Rafīʿ: de
Murcia a Túnez (Murcia, Universidad de Murcia, 2017); “The Moment of
Choice: The Moriscos on the Border of Christianity and Islam”, (London:
Routledge, 2017). Awarded for the best young researcher in history of the year
2020, presented by Beit al-Hikma (Tunisia), and the Arab Youth Award for
Research and Religious Studies (2017), presented by Foundation Mominoon
Without Borders for Studies and Researches (Morocco), and Ibn Battuta Award
(2015), section Studies, presented by Arab Center for the travel literature
(London-Abu Dhabi).

kalliopi

Kalliopi Fouseki

Kalliopi Fouseki is a Professor in Sustainable Heritage Management at the UCL Institute for
Sustainable Heritage. Kalliopi has been the Course director of the MSc Sustainable from
2011-2020.

She is leading a Module on Heritage and Sustainable Development with
particular focus on heritage-led urban regeneration for the programme. She is supervising a
large group of PhD students on participatory heritage, energy efficiency in historic buildings
and heritage-led urban regeneration. She has been the PI and Co-I in numerous research
projects with the most recent including the JPI-JPHE Deep Cities project funded by the JPI-
JPHE Cultural Heritage and Global Change scheme.

kenneth

Kenneth, Tse Kam Wing

Kenneth Tse has devoted himself to exploring cross-disciplinary projects on community, culture,
visual art and historical heritage for more than twenty years.

He received his Master of
Architecture from the University of Hong Kong in 1997 and became a registered architect in Hong
Kong in 1999. He treasures continuous education, and has completed a Postgraduate Certificate
in Applied Sociology from the City University of Hong Kong in 2007, and also the Master of
Science in Sustainable Heritage from the University College London in 2021. The awards he
received so far include the HKIA Medals, UIA Honorable Mention, and UNESCO Asia-Pacific
Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation Award of Excellence for the Revitalization of Blue
House Cluster.

IMG_2962 (1) (1)

Leila Ben-Gacem

Leila Ben-Gacem is a social entrepreneur, Ashoka Fellow; founder of Blue Fish, a consultancy that works on improving the socio-economic dynamics of heritage and culture to improve its preservation.

Leila also founded Dar el Harka, a creative industry hub; Dar Ben Gacem, a Boutique Hotel and cultural catalyst in the medina of Tunis. Leila is also a founder and president of Mdinti, Medina’s first economic interest group. Leila is an elected city council member at her native town of Beni-Khalled. Before switching careers, Leila held various positions at multinational corporations and has a BS in Biomedical Engineering.

Lorika

Lorika Hisari

Lorika Hisari is a PhD Researcher at the Bartlett UCL, Institute for Sustainable Heritage, London UK. She holds a degree of a Graduated Engineer of Architecture from the University of Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo.

She is experienced in post-war reconstruction and built heritage conservation in multi-disciplinary projects for international donor-aid programmes. She completed a postgraduate professional course at Master’s level on International Spatial Planning Practice and Public Realm at the University of Westminster, London UK where she was awarded a JCDecaux Prize for Urban Design, 2012. Her research interests lie in urban heritage and area-based conservation with focus on socio-political dynamics in historic urban environments in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Her recent publication is ‘Post-War Cultural Heritage Preservation in Kosovo: Rethinking the Implementation of Ahtisaari Plan Annex V’ in the Special Issue of Heritage - Urban Heritage Management in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts for Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Recovery.

cruz

Mara Cruz

Mara Cruz is a Chilean architect. She has worked at the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage of her country from 2013 to 2020.

Her work has included examinations of public and private infrastructure projects in protected cultural and natural sites, as well as heritage impact assessments within the framework of Chilean and international law. Her interest in sustainably protecting assets has led her to develop monitoring systems and standards for significant interventions on heritage sites. She recently graduated from University College London with an MSc in Sustainable Heritage and is currently employed there as a research assistant.

Neila

Neila Saadi

Neila Saadi holds a thesis in heritage sciences where she questioned the place of the Amazigh heritage of Tunisia from colonial times until independence

Her research work questions the social and institutional construction processes of heritage categories. She is also interested in the relationship between heritage and development and the role of different actors and their impact on the perception of heritage. She is assistant professor at the University of Tunis.

Nihal O Hafez-personal picture (2)

Nihal Hafez

Nihal O. Hafez is a PhD candidate and urban researcher at the Development Planning
Unit (DPU), at UCL, London UK.

She is a licenced architect since 2014. She earned
her master’s degree from Cairo University in Urban Design and Community
Development in 2018 with the title of ‘Reconstructing Memory by Commodifying
History: A Study of the Phenomenon in Historic Cairo since the 19th Century.’
Her professional background intersects academia with practice. She worked for six
years as Teaching Assistant at the Department of Architecture, Cairo University,
Egypt. In terms of practice, she was also involved in several projects related to
heritage conservation in Cairo in the City of the Dead, Historic Cairo, and Downtown
Cairo. Her research interests include urban development, heritage revitalization
approaches, Middle eastern heritage practices, the production of spaces in the
Global South. Her ongoing PhD research entitled “(Re)Configuring Downtown Cairo:
Between Heritage Revitalization and Real Estate Development” is discussing the
politics of heritage revitalization in Cairo post-2011 revolution and the new
interventions of the private sector within heritage scene.

xire

Xiresangpei

Xiresangpei is a young practitioner in the field of heritage-led urban and rural regeneration. The majority of his work has been done in China

By studying under multidisciplinary conditions, he is consistently attempting to advance his understanding of connecting problems between heritage, urban development, and spatial justice in the global south. He is currently a master's candidate in MSc Urban Development Planning program at University College London.

yasmeen

Yasmeen Safaie

Yasmeen Safaie is a researcher and recent MSc graduate from University College London in Urban Economic Development.

As part of the ACTIVAH team, she focused on understanding how the cultural and creative economy in the Medina can address socioeconomic challenges, support craftworkers, and generate forms of social, economic, and environmental value for residents. She is currently working as a researcher at The Centre for Media, Technology & Democracy working at the intersection of Climate, AI & Tech Justice

Photogrammetric

فندق الحنّة، مدينة تونس

عند ذكر كلمة "فندق"، يذهب الظن بالعديدين إلى المعنى المعاصر للكلمة، أي نزل إليواء المسافرين، في حين أن الفنادق
قد لعبت تاريخيًا دو ًرا أكبر من ذلك، فتعريف الفندق في الفترة الوسيطة والحديثة، يعني المكان الذي يسكن به التجار
ودوابهم، ويتم فيه تخزين سلعهم، وربما تتم فيه كذلك الصفقات التجارية. في العادة يتكون الفندق من طابقين أو أكثر، حيث
يتم تخصيص الطابق السفلي لسكن الدواب وتخزين السلع، في حين يُخصص الطابق العلوي لسكن التجار.

يرجع تاريخ الفنادق في المدن اإلسالمية إلى الفترة الوسيطة، لكن هذه المؤسسة لم تعرف ازدهارا كبيرا إال في متوسط
الفترة الحديثة، كنتيجة لتزايد نسق األنشطة التجارية بين ضفتي البحر األبيض المتوسط.
تضم مدينة تونس العديد من الفنادق التي يعود تشييدها أو إعادة تهيئتها إلى نهاية القرن السادس عشر وبداية القرن السابع
عشر، حيث يمكن أن نذكر على سبيل المثال الفنادق التي كانت ُمخصصة للتجار األوروبيين، الذين لعل أشهرهم التجار
الفرنسيين والإنجليز.
ُمصنعة في
إلى جانب فنادق التجار األجانب، فقد كان هناك فنادق للتجار القادمين من دواخل البالد لبيع سلعهم الأوليّة أو
أكبر أسواق البلاد، أي العاصمة تونس. من بين هذه الفنادق المخصصة للمحليين، يمكن أن نذكر "فندق الحنة"، الذي على
الرغم من أننا لم نجد حولهُ في الوثاق الأرشيفيّة والمصادر الإخباريّة أي إشارة، فيمكننا الترجيح من خلال تسميته، أنهُ قد
كان ُمخصّصا لتُجار الحنة، الذين يأتون من الجنوب وتحديدًا قابس لبيع الحنة التي تستعملها نساء المدينة لصباغة شعورهن
أو لتزيين أكفاف يديهن و أقدامهن.
في فترة لا نعرفها على وجه الدقة، تحولت وظيفة الفندق من فضاء لإيواء تجار الحنة إلى مبنى ُمخصص لحرفيي الحرير.
كان يشغل مختلف غرف الفندق حرفيي الحرير، أي سواء النساجون ومناسجهم أو أولئك الحرفيين الذين يصنعون خيوط
الحرير عبر أنولتهم. ازدهار صناعة الحرير لم يعمر، فقد عرفت هذه الصناعة كمعظم الصناعات التقليدية أزمة كبيرة،
كنتيجة للتحوّلات الإجتماعية الهائلة التي عرفتها البلاد منذ ستينات القرن الماضي، كنتيجة لتخلي العديد من النسوة عن لبس
السفساري، أو بسبب تعويض الأخير بالعبايات وأغطية الرأس المستوردة من خارج البالد.
على الرغم من إمكانية القول بأن فندق الحنة في حالة احتضار من الناحية المعمارية، حيث أن ُمعظم أجزائه أصبحت على
وشك السقوط، فإن حياتهُ لم تنتهي بأزمة صناعة الحرير- لم يبقى به إلّا حرفيين إثنين (نساج و ُمشتغل على نول)- بل دخل
إلى الفندق نوع جديد من الحرف، أي صناعي الشيشية أو النرجيلة، الذين يصنعون القسم النحاسي من هذه الآلة العجيبة
التي مازال سكان البلاد يواصلون استعمالها في المقاهي والبيوت للتدخين. كذلك نجد بالسوق صناعة الأحذية.
كما أشرنا سابقا ،الحالة المعماريّة للفندق صعبة  جدّا و هو في حاجة إلى تدخّل سريع من أجل القيام  بعمليّة ترميمه
و توفير ظروف عمل مناسبة للحرفيين المستغلين لهُ. على الرغم من البساطة المعمارية التي يتميز بها، فإنهُ يبقى معلما فريدا يخبر
تعدد غرفه في الطابقين الأرضي والعلوي، عن حالة الإزدهار التي كان عليها في ماضي الزمان.

FONDOK EL HENNA, Medina

The word “fondok” often refers to a hostel to accommodate travelers, while hotels have historically
played a greater role than just that; goods exchange, trade deals may also take place at hotels.

Usually,the hotel consists of two floors or more, where the lower floor is allocated for animals and storing
goods, while the upper floor is allocated to house merchants.

The history of ‘fondok’ in Islamic cities dates back to the middle period, but this institution did not
prosper except in the middle of the modern period, as a result of the increasing pace of commercial
activities between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

The Medina contains many ‘Fondok’ whose construction or rehabilitation dates back to the end of the
sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century. We can mention, for example, the
Fondok that were dedicated to European merchants, the most famous of whom are the French and
English merchants.
In addition to Fondok dedicated to foreign merchants, there were fodoks for merchants coming from
within the country to sell their primary or manufactured goods in the country's largest market, the
capital Tunis. Among these Fondoksreserved for locals, we can mention the "Fondok el Henna", which,
although we find no reference around it in archival documents and news sources, we can assume by
its name, that it was intended for henna merchants, who come from the south, specifically Gabes, to
sell henna that women of the Medina use to dye their hair or to decorate the palms of their hands and
feet.
We don't know exactly, the function of Fondon el Henna, or how it got transformed from a space to
house henna merchants to a building dedicated to silk artisans. The various rooms of the Fondok were
occupied by silk related crafts, such as silk thread makers or textile weavers. The prosperity of the silk
industry did not last, like most traditional industries;this industry experienced a major crisis, as a result
of the massive social transformations that the country has undergone since the sixties, which forced
many women to abandon wearing safari.
Although it can be said that Fondok el Henna is in a dying state from an architectural point of view, as
most of its parts are on the verge of collapse, building life did not end with the crisis of the silk industry
– today only two silk craftsmen remained in it, rather the fondok welcomed new craftsmen, such as
coppersmith that make Shisha parts, since Shisha are still in demand in cafes around the country. The
Fondok also has shoemakers today.
As we mentioned earlier, the architectural condition of Fondok el Henna, is in desperate need for
intervention, to provide suitable working conditions for the craftsmen who exploit it. Despite its
architectural simplicity, it remains a unique landmark. The multiplicity of its rooms on the ground and
upper floors hide many stories of its prosperity in the past.

 

Building 36, Rue des Andalus

مبنى 36 ،نهج الأندلس، مدينة تونس

يُعتبر نهج الأندلس أحد الأحياء العريقة في مدينة تونس، فتاريخ تأسيسه كما نعرفه اليوم، يعود إلى بداية القرن السابع عشر.
بعد طرد الموريسكيين من إسبانيا ما بين سنتي 1609 و1614 ،توجه عدد هام من المطرودين مباشرة من إسبانيا أو
خصو ًصا بعد العبور إلى الموانئ الفرنسية، الإيطالية وحتى التركية إلى تونس، حيث رحب بهم عثمان داي حاكم البالد في
ذلك الوقت، وشجعهم على التوطن بالعديد من جهات البلاد عبر منحهم امتيازات جبائية وقانونية. سكن عدد من المهجرين
في جهة الوطن القبلي وعلى ضفاف وادي مجردة وجهة بنزرت، في حين اختار عدد اخر، والذي مثل أسا ًسا الحرفيين
والأعيان السكن في مدينة تونس، فإستوطنوا منطقة باب قرطاجنة، باب سويقة، زقاق األندلس ونهج األندلس.

سكن في نهج األندلس أعيان الموريسكيين، كعائلة الأخوة وغيرها، وكان هؤلاء األعيان أساسا من التجار في أكثر الحرف
الرائجة في ذلك العصر، أي صناعة الشاشية التي كانت تُدر أرباح كثيرة. ثراء العائلات التي سكنت بنهج الأندلس التي يظهر
فقط في الوثائق الأرشيفية أو صيت العائلات التي سكنت به، بل مازال يُتجلي حتى اليوم في عمارة المباني القائمة به، حيث
يمكن ملاحظة فخامة المباني واتساعها. تتميز معظم المباني الواقعة في الحي بطابعها الأندلسي، الذي يقوم على استعمال
لوحات الزليج في تزيين الجدران، والأعمدة الرخامية والحجرية التي وقع جلبها في الغالب من عدد من المواقع الأثرية
القريبة، كما يقوم هذا النمط على استعمال النقائش الجصية لتزيين األسقف، الذي يتم تزويقه في بعض الغرف بالخشب
ُالمنقوش و المزيّن. كذلك، يمكن أن نلاحظ المزاوجة البادية في بعض المنازل بين الطابع الأندلسي الذي هيمن طيلة القرن
السابع عشر، والطابع الإيطالي الذي دخل البلاد خصو ًصا منذ بداية القرن الثامن عشر.
قصة نهج األندلس، تتوازى مع مسار مدينة تونس، التي دخلت في شبه أزمة منذ القرن العشرين، بعد تراجع الأنشطة
الحرفية، وإختيار رجال السلطة والأعيان الخروج من المدينة للسكن في الضاحية الشمالية، أي منطقة المرسى، قرطاج
وسيدي بوسعيد. اختار عدد من أعيان الأندلسيين الخروج من نهج األندلس والتفريط في منازلهم إما بالبيع أو الكراء لسكان
جدد قدموا للسكن بالمدينة من دواخل البلاد، أو حتى من السكان الفرنسيين واألوروبيين الذين استوطنوا بالنهج، ربما لفخامة
منازله ولما كان يميزه من عراقة تاريخية. على الرغم من التحوالت الديمغرافية، فقد صمد النهج معماريًا على األقل إلى
منتصف القرن العشرين، ثم وكما تثبت بعض الصور القديمة، بدأت وضعيته المعمارية تعرف نوعا من التدهور، كنتيجة
لتحول معظم المساكن إلى وكايل يقطنها عدد كبير من الأفراد.
في هذه الظرفية، أي حالة التدهور، يمكن تنزيل وضعية المبنى عدد 36 نهج األندلس، الذي كان على ملك أحد الأجانب، ثم
دخل بعد الإستقلال في ملكية بلدية تونس، واستولى البعض على جانب منه، وهو اليوم في حالة سيئة جدًا، ويمكن إعتباره
مبنى أيل للسقوط في أي لحظة، إذ لم تتم عمليات الترميم الضرورية، واستغلاله في المستقبل من قبل البلدية أو أحد جمعيات
المجتمع المدني، أو ربما يكون فضاء ثقافي لأطفال وشباب النهج.

Building 36, Rue des Andalus, Medina

Rue des Andalus, is considered one of the old neighborhoods in Tunis. Its founding date, as
we know it today, dates back to the beginning of the seventeenth century.

After the expulsion
of the Moriscos from Spain between 1609 and 1614, a significant number of those expelled
went directly from Spain, after crossing to the French, Italian and even Turkish ports to Tunisia,
where Othman Dey, the ruler of the country at the time, welcomed them and encouraged
them to settle in many locations within Tunisia, and granted them tax and legal privileges.

A number of displaced people lived in the state of Nabeul and on the banks of Wadi Mejdra
and Bizerte, but those that were craftsmen and notables, chose to live in the city of Tunis, in
the area of Bab Cartagena, Bab Souika, Zaqaq al-Andalus and Nahj al-Andalus.
Notables of the Moors, such as the family Lakoua, lived on Rue des Andalus, and they were
mainly merchants in the most popular trades of that era, which was the Chachia industry,
which generated important profits. The wealth of the families that lived in Rue des Andalus is
not only visible in the archival documents or the reputation of the families who lived in it, but
is still evident today in the architecture of the buildings on this street, where it is possible to
notice the grandeur and spaciousness of the buildings. Most of the buildings located in the
neighborhood are characterized by their Andalusian character, which is based on the use of
ceramic panels to decorate the walls, marble and stone columns that were mostly brought
from a number of nearby archaeological sites, and rooms were wood decorated. This era also
witnessed the marriage in some homes between the Andalusian character that dominated
throughout the seventeenth century, and the Italian character that entered the country,
especially since the beginning of the eighteenth century.
The story of Rue des Andalus is similar to many other roads and alleys in the Medina of Tunis,
which has entered into a semi-crisis since the twentieth century, after the decline of craft
activities, and the choice of authority figures and notables to leave the city to live in the
northern suburbs, such as La Marsa, Carthage and Sidi Bou Said. A number of Andalusian
notables chose to leave Rue des Andalus and sold or rented their homes to new residents who
came to live in the Medina from interieur regions of the country, or even from the French and
European residents who settled in, which might be due to luxurious status of those homes
3
and their distinguished architecture. Despite the demographic shifts, the architectural
approach has survived at least until the middle of the twentieth century, and then, as some of
the old photographs prove, its architectural started deteriorating, as a result of the
transformation of most of the dwellings into a keel inhabited by a large number of individuals.
This deterioration impacted the building situated at 36, Al-Andalus Street, which was owned
by a foreigner, and then became a municipal property after independence, and informal
settlers took over part of it. Today, the building is in a very bad condition, may fall at any
moment, unless the necessary restorations are made, by the municipality of Tunis or a civil
society association, to render it into a cultural space for children and youth of Rue des
Andalous.

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