Ribat Sousse City
Ribat Sousse City – One of the most ancient Arab facilities in Tunisia. This is a fortress that has been preserved from the 9th century without major changes and destruction. Here you can look at the ancient fortification art and climb the high tower with which the port and the entire medina of the Sousse can be seen.
Prices, schedule and other information This article updated in March 2020.
What is ribat?
Ribat is an Islamic monastery fortress, they were built in the border areas and on the coast of North Africa. In Ribats, the Murabiruna service was carried – the monks soldiers who were engaged in the study of the Quran, spiritual practices and war. It was believed that Murabirunu’s life was guaranteed to get into paradise.
The word "Ribat" happened from the word "discount", which translates from the Arab "guarded garrison".
Ribat was not only a fortress, but also a religious center. Here they kept prisoners of war and turned them in Islam, the sacred texts and relics were kept. Rodewings have always been the place of stop pilgrims. In particular, in Ribat Sousse Pilgrimniki stopped and expected ships on which they sailed to Egypt, and then traveled on land in Mecca.
Relicies over time have lost their importance for defense, but became centers of education and theology. In particular, Ribat Suss has become a madrasa.
What are tourists looking here
This is the most ancient building in the Sousse. Its age is not accurately installed, but in 821 he has already faced in the current form. Probably some parts of the building are much older. This is one of the most ancient monuments of the Islamic era in Tunisia.
The main value of the Sousse Ribat – he reached us in an original form, unlike the Ribat of Monastir, who was completed many times and rebuilt. Only in 1722, the part of the arcade was renovated. Here, as anywhere you can see what the walls were stood and how they were defended in those days.
Tower in the eastern corner of the fortress (in the photo on the left, click on the photo to enlarge) open to visitors, you can see the medina of the Sousse from the height and see the houses of the modern city.
Ribat Sousse is a masterpiece of fortification, although the size of the fortress is small. This is an example of how you can build an efficient protective structure, having a minimum of resources.
And inside there is a clean toilet, and in the medina find such – the problem.
How to get
From the resorts of Al Kantaui and Sousse and Sousse is the most convenient to take a taxi. From El Cantaui will cost 6-12 dinars, from Sousse hotels – 3-6 dinars. Current course, see our article "Tunisian Dinar", Watch Treas Tariffs in the article "Taxi prices in Tunisia". Another option – to drive on a minibus for 1 dinar with a person, what we wrote about in the article "Minibuses in Tunisia".
If you are going on a taxi, then tell the driver of the phrase "Ribat Sousse" so that he definitely understood the destination. We really do not recommend saying the word "medina", since the Medina Sousse is big, and the driver will bring it to the point where it will be comfortable.
Find Ribat very simply, focus on his tower, which is clearly visible from everywhere (see photo above, click on the photo to enlarge).
From hotels in Mahdia and Skanes (Monastir) easily access to the souss, you read our article "Metro Sachel". After arriving in Sousse, you can take a taxi (instruction above) or walk straight from the station to the medina wall, turn to the right and along the wall go to the entrance to the medina.
From Hammamet hotels, Yasmin Hammamet and raid can be reached by bus or train, although it is quite tedious. If you decide, then read our reviews "Trains in Tunisia" and "Buses in Tunisia". A simpler version – a sightseeing tour of the city of Sousse, it shows Ribat, and museums, and a mosque.
From hotels in Djerba or Zarziza to get to the souss independently for too long and expensive, and excursions are not satisfied.
Medina Sousse map with the designation of ribat, other attractions and tourist routes, see our article "Medina Suss".
Ticket costs 7 dinars. On the photo on the left, click on the photo to enlarge.
Children under 6 years old – free.
Photographing permission – 1 dinar.
Actual course, see our article "Tunisian Dinar".
Winter season (16.09-31.03): C 8-00 to 17-00.
Summer season (01.04-15.09): C 8-00 to 19-00.
A bit of history
Time of construction ribat sussa is not set exactly. Here was found inscription with a cufic letter telling about the restoration and the completion of the Tower by Emir of Zyighnaya Allah I from the Aglabid dynasty in 821. Photo lettering, click.
Probably the fortress existed before that moment. The location was very important for Arabs, because there is a comfortable harbor here, and from here there are only 60 kilometers to the first Arab capital of Tunisia – Cyruan cities.
In the pre-Islamic era of the history of Tunisia, at this place was the Byzantine (previously Roman) city of Hadrumet, in his place Arabs built the city of Sousse. Most likely, Ribat was not built "from scratch". Historians disagree in opinions. Some believe that he was completed from the Byzantine fortress, some say that Christian Basilica was previously stood here.
A very common version is that Ribat began to build a governor of the Abbasid dynasty – Yazid Ibn Hatch Al-Mukhallabi in 771-778.
Building materials for the fortress were taken on the ruins of the city of Hadrummet. In the same way, a large mosque, walls and houses of Medina Sousse were built.
Ribat was part of the coastal defense system that defended the young still city of Sousse from the attacks of the Byzantine Fleet. Also, the emirs of the Aglabid dynasty used SUSS to prepare the invasion of Sicily, which took place in 827.
Already in a few centuries, Ribat gave way to Kasbe’s defense (fortress in the corner of Medina, now the Archaeological Museum of Sousse). Massive Walls Medina Socus made ribant almost useless for military needs.
Ribat was not rebuilt under the new realities of the coastal battle, but remained a religious center. That is why it has been preserved in the original form. Details of the military everyday life in Ribate are unknown to us, numerous sources tell only about the saints that lived here, but not about hostilities.
In 1722, Ribat passed a little reconstruction and became a madrasa (religious college). After the protection of the protectorate in 1881, it becomes a place for content under quarantine. After the announcement of the independence of Tunisia becomes the open-air museum.
What to look
Interesting starts at the entrance to Ribat. Pay attention to a very narrow and high gate, in which you can eat two enemy fighters. The gate is made from Roman columns taken clearly with the collapse of Hadrumet.
Over the gates a small hall where the defenders met the opponent’s gate, guaranteeing a numerical advantage. Now there is a metal detector frame, cash register and a small souvenir shop. See a small photo gallery below.
Ribat Sousse Sound with a length of each wall 38 meters. This form of the fortress is found everywhere in Tunisia, probably borrowed by Byzantines.
Passing through the hall, get to the central yard. Around the perimeter of the courtyard there is arcade, and behind her corridor. Along the corridor there are entrances in the cells where Murabiruna lived and there were warehouses. You can look at the very ascetic conditions in which Murabiruna lived.
The second floor is arranged similarly, but there is no cheese on the south side, there was a 28. In the center of the hall in the wall, find a semicircular deepening – this is Mihrab, where IMAM prayed. Like the gate, Michrab surround the columns of obviously Roman origin.
In some cells, stone plates are exhibited with inscriptions. Naturally, only massive objects are shown to not be taken by visitors.
On the roof (considered the third floor) are the entrance to the tower and seven bastions. Mental guns were installed here. Be careful on the roof, there are low fences.
Tower is the main entertainment for tourists. Outwardly, she resembles minarets of the era of Abbasides, such a style was popular in North Africa since the end of the 8th century. Such towers were called "Nador", they served simultaneously and observation points, and lighthouses, and signal towers. Nador Ribat Sousse served as a minaret of a neighboring big mosque.
76 steps lead to top. The passage is very narrow, two people can disperse in it, but only if they are unintelligible. Upstairs on the site site a little, we recommend not to hurry. If you see at the top of another person or hear a voice, better wait until it goes back.
On top platform Very low sides. Be extremely careful, high tourists we will advise you to move by the gous. Upstairs, see the height of the medina sistry and other areas of the city. You can try to see your hotel, many tourists manage it.
On this visit, the ribat ends, there is nothing more here.
– If right after leaving the ribat, go forward, then get to the El Cobb Museum and the Bazar in Medina;
– If hungry, then just about Ribat is the best place to quench the hunger. Here is a record concentration of cafes and restaurants. What to order, read in our article "The best dishes of Kitchen Tunisia";
– If you visit Ribat with children, then be very neat. Here everywhere low fences, and in many places there are simply no fences. Watch out for children. About security Read our articles "Tips for tourists with children in Tunisia" and "Dangers for tourists in Tunisia".
Successful excursions in Tunisia, and read our other interesting articles about this country (Links below).