Sidi Bou Said – Charming blue and white.

Sidi Bou Said

It is impossible not to love Sidi Bou Said. Originally a place of pilgrimage for visitors to graves sufi 13th century holy man from which it takes its name, Tunisia famous blue and white village is so charmingly beautiful that sometimes can seem more painted than real. Seen from afar, it shines under fierce Mediterranean sun like a giant mosaic. Seen from the inside, it is a maze of narrow streets and secret places where crooked flights of steps lead to hidden gardens and wooden doors that open onto courtyards filled with flowers.Go to Africa trips!

Everywhere you look in the village, you will see the signature colors – dazzling white walls and stairs, with everything a uniform shade of deep blue. Doors, windows, shutters, decorative iron railings and elaborate screens latticed windows (known as moucharabiehs) are painted the imperial blue tail of a peacock. Only the largest ports show some variation with splashes of chrome, white or red yellow.

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The doors are a special feature of the town; old, huge and heavy, which are full of traditional motifs of crescents, stars and minarets. Some lead garages simple or mini-shops, others open in the most elaborate complexes, such as the Café Sidi Chabaane, which cascades over the cliff side in staggered terraces, like a waterfall. Others mark the entrance of large mansions with courtyards, fresh mosaics, fountains and orange – a bit like Moroccan riads.

Sidi Bou Said

A series of doors lead to Forges, workshops and artists’ studios. Italian artist Soro Turkish Min has a studio and gallery here, for example. It is a construction contrary to a roomful of its features ink and pastels smoking. As expected, Sidi Bou Said has always been attractive to painters. It has become a haven for writers, artists and visitors from Europe . Simone de Beauvoir and André Gide were some of the writers who fell under his spell. Gide stay there described as “the bathroom in a fluid, mother-of-pearl sedative.”

Sidi Bou Said

Sidi Bou Said

Sidi Bou Said


Guest artists including Henri Matisse, Michael Foucault and Paul Klee.

Klee came in 1914, with other artists Gustave-Henri Jossot and August Macke. That year, Macke painted a watercolor Café des Nattes. Café des Nattes became one of the most striking images of Sidi Bou Said. For Klee, who until then had usually worked within the limits of graphics black and brown, passing through the town he marked a turning point in his use of light and color. “The color has it taken possession of me,” he wrote. “I do not have to chase him, I know that has taken hold of me forever.”


In the late 19th century, cosmopolitan Tunisia had become a kind of substitute European vacations Paris. Smaller, more beautiful, more subtle, and located 18 km from the capital, Sidi Bou Said has become equivalent to Montmartre Tunisia – the “alternative” place to stay, or even to settle for the most bohemian connoisseurs.

Today, as the very Montmartre is no longer any combination. Its population swelled by the influx of wealthy Tunisians. A number of politicians and media personalities to make daily trips between luxury homes and capital in what may seem a motorcade with tinted windows with driver. Similarly, the village was discovered by mass tourism. As a destination increasingly popular tours in recent years, its main street basted long been used for a brightness waves daily visitors. And yet, Sidi Bou Said is still charming. The secret is to stay for a few days, instead of going on a day trip.

Sidi Bou Said TGM

separate bus tours, most visitors reach Sidi Bou Said TGM underground place from Tunisia, known locally as the “Blue Train” and operate every 20 minutes or so. Cars are banned in the historic center of the city. It is a 35 fast minutes, and after 15 minutes (uphill) walk from the old town. At first, you may wonder what all the fuss. Sidi center, next to Place 7 Novembre, is a modern mix worthy of supermarkets, hardware stores and bars cheap sandwich. The latter are worth remembering later if you are on a budget or fellow tourists abstinence. They specialize in Brik, fried filo pastry filled with yellow liquid eggs and want to stick or tuna, or Méchouia carry tubs, a salad of grilled vegetables.

As soon as the corner lights up, you immediately see what makes the city so special. In front of you, the charming main street (Calle Dr. Habib) is a succession of white sugar cube buildings with blue lattice balconies overhanging rocks and forming an avenue while walking.

pink clouds of bougainvillea festoon bar and hot trail or baskets that are scattered numerous small side streets and alleys. Just ahead is the main mosque. And just below the minaret, about 22 steps with white edges offer, is the symbol of the city Macke painting: Café des Nattes ( “career coffee or Mice”). Its interior is extremely strange and wonderful – fresh, dark and fabulously decadent, with water pipes devices designed Tunisian placed at strategic points.

Customers sit or recline on mats spread over large stone platforms. These are like four-poster beds with thick pillars set in each corner. Vividly with red and green stripes twisted tracks pillars support a low ceiling painted in the same incredibly bright colors. A cross between an opium den and a roundabout fairs, coffee is like no other I’ve found. In the summer, however, the client coffee remains mostly outdoors. Locals and visitors flock to the steps and porches to drink glasses of pignons AUX The traditional mint tea – sweet with pine nuts floating on the surface – and watch people on the street.

During the day, the street Dr. Habib is a bazaar -. A paradise “hawkers, full of craft stalls and shops full of jewelry, aromatic oils, boxes of sausages, brassware, poultry cages decorated and leather of all kinds The tent of bonbalouni fried potato and street sells coated traditional sugar town donuts. providers with trays raffia inside and outside buyers hordes, selling bouquets of ubiquitous jasmine miniature (tied with a rope, and known as mashmoum) you will see many local men wears tucked behind one ear.

However, there are still ways to escape the confusion – even at noon, when the streets are at their busiest. Sidi Bou Said is full of surprises!

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