Monday, November 17, 2008

at 8:58 AM Posted by chaker

The Bir Barouta / Barrouta = برّوطة was built by the Ottoman ruler Mohammed Bey in 1676 to surround a well that, according to legend, is connected by an underground channel with the Zemzem spring in Mecca.
Even today, the local religious traditions says that a Muslim drinking water from Bi'r Baruta a number of times is exempted from performing the pilgrimage to Mecca, a journey both long and expensive. A blindfolded camel is pulling the wheel, and the water that flushes out of the mugs you see on the picture is free to drink for anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim.
the Bi'r Barouta is — entrance through a small carpet shop and an interior no more spectacular than a middle-class family's courtyard — it is the historical focal point of Kairouan. It is this well that has elevated Kairouan into its prominent position in the heart of devout Muslims in this part of northern Africa.
On the first floor is draw-well where a blindfolded camel is marched around in circles which then hoists water up from the well via water-wheels. Originally the water was collected here and distributed in conduits to houses in the town but nowadays the whole business is purely a show put on for tourists.