Monday, November 17, 2008

at 11:10 AM Posted by chaker

About 1 km south-west of the Aghlabid Basins is the Zaouia of Sidi Sahab also known as the Barber's Mosque, a complex including a mausoleum and a medersa which was built between 1629 and 1692 over the tomb of one of Mohammed's companions who died in AD 685. According to legend Sidi Sahab, out of reverence for the Prophet, always carried a few hairs from his beard: hence the name of the Barber's Mosque.

The zaouia is notable for its magnificent decoration, much of which dates only from the 19th century. It is entered through a forecourt, on the left of which are the imam's lodgings, guest- rooms and ablution fountains. Opposite the entrance is the minaret. The forecourt also gives access to the medersa, laid out round a small courtyard, the prayer hall beyond it and (by way of a passage adjoining the minaret) another colonnaded courtyard, off which opens the tomb of Sidi Sahab (whose original name was Abu ZAma el balawi).