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28 July 2014

Tunis and its architecture

A couple of months ago I went on a guided tour in Tunis to look at the different architectural styles.  The thought of going on a guided tour in a city where I had lived in for more than ten years was quite novel to me. I decided to go because the subject matter interested me, the tour was given by a retired art historian and I was curious to see Tunis through her eyes and perhaps most important of all I am a firm believer of the notion that we never stop learning. 

 Although I was already familiar with many of the buildings our Norwegian guide Eva showed us it was nevertheless fascinating to listen to her vast knowledge on architecture.  During our tour Eva explained in detail the differences between Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Eclectic style, Romantic style, Neo-Classical and Romanesque and showed us examples of actual buildings in Tunis where these styles were applicable.  Here are a collection of photographs from our tour.

In architectural terminology, this is known as a pepper-pot corner feature known in French as (en forme de poivrier).  It certainly makes the apartment building stand out in the streetscape.


Above the arch of the window, it is possible to see the bust of a man and a woman encapsulated within a floral wreath of Art Nouveau mouldings.








This building has a mixture of blind arches and Venetian style mouldings.




Here is an example of the smooth facade of 1930s buildings in Tunis one of the characteristics are the rounded balconies.
























The corner pergola masonry feature provides an Art Deco note to this building.



This apartment building has a combination of arched windows, Italianate balustrades and Art Deco oculi (which is another name for circular windows).






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