ZAHIT KAPLAN - KUZEY NEWS AGENCY
Named after a 13th century Islamic scholar who lived in there, Abou Said ibn Khalef ibn Yahia Ettamini el Beji, Sidi Bou Said in Tunisia is a tourist attraction and is known for its extensive use of blue and white in the buildings.
With Ottoman and Andulusian influence, the architectural style is largely characterized by blue and white colors. The coastal city, that is just 20 km far away from the capital, overlooks the sea on a hill.
The tomb of Abou Said was built after he died in 1231 in a place called Jebel el Menar, meaning the Mountain of Fire. Because of his spiritual influence on the people living there, a mosque was also named after him. The well-known religious leader has been commemorated with several activities carried out in the city. Today, Jebel el Menar is also known as ‘harje’ where thousands of people visit to the tomb of Abou Said.
Although the city embodies an Islamic spirit, Sidi Bou Said owes today’s appearance to French baron Rodolf Derlonji, who ordered to paint all buildings blue and white in 1920. Two centuries ago, Ottoman governor Huseyin Bey, who ruled the city 1705-1735, played a tremendous role in reconstructing the city. When Sidi Bou Said was seized by French colonialists, the Ottoman presence ended.
Commenting on architectural characteristics of Sidi Bou Said, Sami Mubarek, a researcher and writer said “This city has a unique architectural style. The painting of doors and windows blue started after 1915. After the order of the French baron all families painted their homes blue and white including the inside of the homes. However, the doors keep the designe of the crescent and star which is reminiscent of Ottoman times. The sad thing is UNESCO has not added Sidi Abou Said to its list.”
The city has continued to host hundreds of thousands people who are seeking history, natural beauty and architectural uniqueness.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ağustos 2014, 16:22