Exploring Tourism in Tunisia
icon Worldwideicon
Places to Visit Details

Ennejma Ezzahra Palace

Sidi Bousaid, Tunisia

Ennejma Ezzahra Palace

Ennejma Ezzahra, or Baron d'Erlanger's house, is one of the most beautiful houses in modern Tunisia. Built between 1912 and 1922, the house was entirely designed by the client himself with modest assistance from an architect at the beginning of the project.

The house overlooks the bay of Tunis and is located on a steep slope of the Cape Carthage promontory. The Baron has brought for the realization of his work the best craftsmen of Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt for the work of wood, painted wood, marble, and stucco (naqch hadida). Electricity and plumbing were provided by French and Italian technicians.

The architectural and decorative elements are of great finesse and are part of the Islamic style, more exactly Moorish. The various geometric shapes of the false ceiling and moucharabiehs as well as the beauty of the gardens and terraces return all visitors to the majestic palaces of Andalusia.

The first monument listed since the independence of Tunisia, the Ennejma Ezzahra Palace is currently the Center for Arab and Mediterranean Music. It hosts each year the International Festival of Spiritual Music, some concerts of Mediterranean music as well as conferences. A visit to this wonderful monument is highly recommended for any visitor to the northern suburbs of Tunis.

Since 1991, it houses the Centre des Musiques Arabes et Méditerranéennes (Centre for Arabic and Mediterranean Music), a museum and institution for the promotion of the country's musical heritage. Furthermore, it acts as a regular concert venue and has a collection of historical musical instruments, books, recordings, and other objects relating to the music of Tunisia. Many recordings of the center's historical phonographic archives can be accessed and listened to on their phonoteque website.

The palace has also been used for filming, including the making of the movie Justine, based on Lawrence Durrell's novel of that name.

Check out more Places to Visit