Monday, November 17, 2008

at 12:17 PM Posted by chaker

To the north of the Kasbah in Kairouan, are the Aghlabid Basins which were built in the 9th century and restored 1969. These two pools (originally there were more) stored water for the Aghlabid palace which occupied the site of the present-day cemetery. The water was brought by an aqueduct from Djebel Cherichera, 36km (22 miles) away. The smaller basin (17-sided, 37m/121ft in diameter) was a settling tank, from which the water flowed into the larger one (48-sided, 128m/420ft in diameter, 10m/33ft deep), which had a capacity of 50,000cu.m/11 million gallons. In the center of the larger pool is the base of a pavilion in which the Aghlabid rulers used to relax.

There are today two ways of visiting the Aghlabid pools, either by the tourist center or the western gate leading into the park.
From the tourist center there is no gate into the park itself, all that is on offer are views from atop the building (see top photo). There are two reasons for this: from up here it is possible to get good views and photos, and you don't get to see how filthy the pools have become.

the tourist center: syndicate initiative

The Syndicat d'Initiative is located to the north of the town beside the Aghlabid Basins and is where you can obtain a single ticket which allows you admission into the main tourist attractions in Kairouan. The ticket, which costs TD7 plus TD1 for camera charge, includes entry into the Great Mosque, Aghlabid Basins, Zaouia of Sidi Sahab, Zaouia of Sidi Amor Abbada, Bir Barouta, Raqqada Islamic Art Museum and Zaouia of Sidi Abid el-Ghariani. If you're visiting the Aghlabid Basins, then stop off on the rooftop of the Syndicat d'Initiative for a good view of them.