Métouia, Tunisia

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Métouia, Tunisia

Region: Tataouine


Geographic Coordinates: 33.966700, 10.000000
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 40.0°C (50°F to 104°F)
Climate: Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters.
Population: 170000
Language: Arabic

Métouia is a small town located in the southern part of Tunisia, Approximately 30 kilometers from the city of Gabes. The town is known for its unique architecture and cultural heritage, Which has been preserved over centuries. Métouia is home to a population of around 10, 000 people, Who are mostly Berber in origin. The architecture of Métouia is one of its most striking features. The houses in the town are built using traditional techniques and materials such as mud bricks and palm leaves. The buildings have a distinctive style that reflects the local culture and environment.

Many of the houses have intricately carved wooden doors and windows, Which add to their beauty. One of the most notable landmarks in Métouia is the Great Mosque, Which dates back to the 14th century. The mosque has an impressive minaret that can be seen from afar. It also has a large courtyard where locals gather for prayer or socializing. Another important site in Métouia is the Zaouia El Hamdouchiya shrine, Which was built in honor of Sidi Hamdouchi, A local saint who lived during the 16th century.

The shrine attracts many visitors each year who come to pay their respects and seek blessings. Métouia also has several natural attractions that are worth exploring. One such place is Ksar Ouled Soltane, An ancient fortified granary that was used by Berber tribes for storing food during times of war or droughts. Another popular destination is Chenini Mountain, Which offers stunning views over the surrounding landscape. The people of Métouia are known for their hospitality and friendliness towards visitors. They take pride in their cultural heritage and are always eager to share it with others through music, Dance or storytelling.

Métouia offers an authentic glimpse into Tunisian culture and history through its unique architecture, Landmarks and natural attractions. It is a place where visitors can immerse themselves in the local way of life and experience the warmth and hospitality of its people.



Important Landmarks

  1. Ksour of Métouia: These traditional fortified granaries are a unique feature of the region and attract many tourists.
  2. Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions: This museum showcases the traditional arts and crafts of the region.
  3. El Jem Amphitheatre: Located nearby, this Roman amphitheatre is one of the best-preserved in North Africa.
  4. Ribat de Monastir: This medieval fortress offers stunning views over the Mediterranean Sea.
  5. Bourguiba Mausoleum: The final resting place of Tunisia’s first president, Habib Bourguiba, this mausoleum is a popular pilgrimage site for Tunisians.
  6. Sidi Bou Said: This picturesque village on a hill overlooking the sea is known for its blue-and-white architecture and art galleries.
  7. Bardo Museum: Located in nearby Tunis, this museum houses an impressive collection of Roman mosaics and other archaeological artifacts from across Tunisia’s history.

Primary Industries

  1. The major industries and businesses in Métouia, Tunisia include:
    • Agriculture
    • Tourism
    • Handicrafts
    • Small-scale manufacturing
  2. The region is known for producing:
    • Olives
    • Dates
    • Figs
    • Other fruits
  3. Many tourists visit the area to explore:
    • The traditional Berber architecture
    • The cultural heritage of the region
  4. Handicrafts such as:
    • Pottery making
    • Weaving
  5. Additionally, there are some small factories that produce:
    • Textiles
    • Food products such as olive oil

Noteable History

  1. The town was established by Andalusian refugees who fled Spain after the fall of Granada in 1492.
  2. Métouia has gained recognition for its traditional architecture, which features intricate geometric patterns and colorful tiles.
  3. Since its inception, the town has been a center for Sufi mysticism, and it is home to several essential zawiyas (Sufi shrines).
  4. Sheikh Mohamed Fadhel Ben Achour was one of the most renowned Sufi masters linked with Métouia during the early 20th century.
  5. During World War II, German forces occupied Métouia and used it as their base for operations in North Africa.
  6. In 1943, British forces launched an attack on Métouia as part of their campaign to push out Germans from North Africa.
  7. In recent times, Métouia has gained fame due to its efforts towards preserving its traditional architecture and cultural heritage through initiatives like the Métouiaville project.
  8. Notable individuals from or related to Métouia include Tunisian writer Abdelwahab Meddeb, French-Tunisian filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche, and former Tunisian Prime Minister Hédi Baccouch.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Dar Cherait Museum
  2. Ksour of Métouia
  3. Mosque of Métouia
  4. Maison des Arts et de la Culture de Métouia
  5. The Olive Tree Museum of Zriba-Ouled Mekki
  6. Sidi Ali Ben Aoun Mausoleum
  7. Matmata Underground Houses
  8. Chenini Village and Ksar
  9. El Jem Amphitheater
  10. Bardo National Museum in Tunis (located about 2 hours away from Métouia)


Sports Teams

  1. Club Sportif Métoui – founded in 1948
  2. Union Sportive Métoui – founded in 1956
  3. Association Sportive de la Jeunesse de Métouia – founded in 1969

Apart from football, other popular sports played by locals include basketball, handball, volleyball and tennis.

In conclusion, while there may not be any famous professional teams or athletes from Métouia at present time; however the town has a rich history of local clubs that have provided opportunities for residents to participate and enjoy various sports activities over the years.



Cultural Events

  1. Festival of the Olive Tree: This festival is held in November and celebrates the importance of olive trees in Tunisian culture. Visitors can enjoy traditional music, dance, and food while learning about the history and significance of olive oil production.
  2. International Festival of Traditional Music: This festival takes place every year in July and features performances by musicians from around the world who specialize in traditional music styles.
  3. The Spring Festival: Celebrated annually during March, this festival marks the beginning of spring with a variety of cultural events including parades, music concerts, food fairs, and more.
  4. The Date Harvesting Festival: Held in October each year to celebrate the harvest season for dates – one of Tunisia’s most important agricultural products – visitors can enjoy traditional dances, music performances as well as taste different varieties of dates.
  5. The Sidi Bou Makhlouf Moussem: This religious pilgrimage takes place every June to honor Sidi Bou Makhlouf – a revered Islamic saint whose tomb is located near Métouia – attracting thousands from all over Tunisia to participate in various religious rituals and festivities.
  6. The Kerkennah Island Cultural Festival: Although not directly related to Métouia but nearby Kerkennah Islands host an annual cultural festival showcasing local arts & crafts, traditional costumes & cuisine as well as live musical performances by local artists every summer between June-August period.

Note- Due to COVID-19 pandemic some festivals may be cancelled or postponed until further notice so it’s recommended to check before planning your visit to any event/festival mentioned above.


Cuisine

Traditional Tunisian Dishes:

  1. Brik: a deep-fried pastry filled with egg, tuna, and harissa.
  2. Couscous: a traditional dish made of steamed semolina grains served with vegetables and meat.
  3. Lablabi: a chickpea soup served with bread.
  4. Shakshuka: eggs poached in tomato sauce with peppers and onions.
  5. Merguez: spicy lamb sausages grilled or fried.

Popular Restaurants in Métouia, Tunisia:

  1. Dar El Jeld Restaurant: serves traditional Tunisian cuisine in a historic setting.
  2. La Gourmandise Restaurant: offers Mediterranean and Tunisian dishes made from fresh ingredients.
  3. Le Café des Délices Restaurant: located on the beachfront, this restaurant offers seafood dishes and stunning views of the sea.
  4. Restaurant Chez Ali Baba et Fils : serves delicious couscous dishes along with other Tunisian specialties.
  5. La Table d’Elisa : A chic restaurant serving French-Tunisian fusion cuisine.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Parc National de Bouhedma: This national park is located near Métouia and offers hiking trails, bird watching, and camping opportunities.
  2. Jardin Public de Métouia: This public garden is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery.
  3. Plage d’El Djemila: This beach is located near Métouia and offers swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
  4. Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires de Djerba: This museum showcases the traditional arts and crafts of the region.
  5. Centre Équestre de Djerba: Horseback riding is a popular activity in the area with several stables offering guided tours.
  6. Golf Palm Links Djerba: Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at this 18-hole course.
  7. Souk El Had de Djerba: This market offers a variety of local products such as spices, textiles, pottery, and jewelry for visitors to browse or purchase as souvenirs.
  8. Parc Djerba Explore: This amusement park features rides for all ages along with an aquarium showcasing marine life from the Mediterranean Sea.

Suitcase

Its All About The Journey.


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