At five in the morning, the call to prayer of one of Kairuán's more than one hundred mosques was revealed. In such a sacred city, mosques and almuédanos abound, so that morning we dedicated it to know the main religious enclaves of the city.
The most important point of the Kairouan is the Great Mosque, the most important Islamic center in North Africa and where more than 6000 people can be gathered on Fridays. In the early morning we were already in the Great Mosque and we just entered, I still don't know how, due to an indigenous guide that we met right at the entrance and then insisted, or coaxed us, to accompany us all morning. Behind the walls of the Grand mosque There is a large patio surrounded by arches and columns. Each column and capital were taken from some nearby Roman site. The marble floor is tilted toward the center to collect rainwater in a reservoir. The prayer area is separated by sexes and these rooms are completely covered by carpets, all donations from the faithful.
When we left the great mosque, we were still not sure how we ended up without eating it or drinking it with a guide for the whole day. The league was seen that it was not an official guide, first because of his explanations and secondly because when he asked him to teach us accreditation, he briefly taught us the Tunisian ID and he was so hot ... That man was a crack and, a Knowing how irregular everything was, we agreed to hire their "services." This veteran gentleman made us an itinerary with which we toured all the important corners of the medina, including, of course, the obligatory visit to a carpet store of his partner.
Carpets are the quintessential craft of Kairouan. It is not very difficult for the locals to manage in some way so that you end up in a store, for example with the excuse that you can see the views from the roof. In our case, the views we had the opportunity to see were nothing of the other world. The following is the whole ritual of the sale: first they will sit you in a room, bring you tea and start to make gender, one carpet behind another. They will start with the big and most expensive ones and they will tell you to move away the ones you like the most. If you tell them that they are expensive, they will start taking out smaller carpets. Even so, if you are really interested in buying a carpet, Kairuán is the ideal place. Anyway, if that is not the case, do not suffer, because in the art of asking is the one of not giving and you should never feel obliged to buy anything for many views and tea that you have been offered.
After the frustrated sale and commission, we continued exploring the medina with the "guide" and went back north to the Bir Barouta. This building was built in 1676 by the governor to protect the city well. According to legend, this well is connected underground with that of Mecca and, in addition, its fortuitous discovery was what originated the founding of Kairuán. This time there was the camel that revolves around the well to draw water. Many believers travel there to drink the water, since they sincerely believe that it is connected with that of Mecca. For sanitary reasons, I again rejected the offer to drink this sacred water (mainly because, as you know, I am bad at these things and I always end up getting sick).
Our next visit was the mausoleum, or zaouia, from Sidi Sahab. There rest the remains of Abu Zama el-Belaoui, companion of the Prophet Muhammad himself. The mausoleum is quite small, but it is really pretty, especially the black and white painted arches that reminded me of the mosque in Cordoba. The visit by Kairuán continued by aglabíes cisterns, he Mausoleum of Sidi Amor Abbada and the mausoleum of Sidi Abid el-Ghariani.