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The Ribat Fortress is located next to the Great Mosque. In ancient times, it, together with the mosque, constituted the defensive system of the old city of Sousse.
The fortress was erected in the 9th century during the reign of the Arab dynasty of the Aglabits, in order to protect the city from attacks by Berber tribes from land and attacks from the sea by warlike Christians and pagans. The soldiers who guarded the Ribat fortress were volunteer monks. Serving in Ribat was very honorable, as it was believed that the protection of Islam from infidels guaranteed a place in paradise after death.
Ribat is considered a striking example of Islamic architecture and the most ancient structure in Tunisia.
The highest tower of the Ribat fortress is Nador, which is located in the southeast corner of the fortress. This tower was not only an observation post, but also served as a minaret. A spiral staircase of 73 steps leads to the top of the tower.
The fortress has the shape of a square 38 by 38 meters and is surrounded by high walls (12-15 meters), to which wide stone stairs lead from the courtyard ... The inner courtyard of Ribat is surrounded by two tiers of cells along the perimeter and several horseshoe arches characteristic of this fortress.
Since the Ribat fortress was not only a defensive structure, but also a monastery, it has prayer hall on the south side, next to the entrance to the fortress.
The Ribat Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
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Topic: Ribat fortress in Tunis, Sousse resort.