Rating: 9,0/10 (1020 votes)
One and a half thousand years ago, the territory of modern Tunisia was inhabited by the ancient tribes of Berbers, who did not build their houses on the surface of the earth, but dug them out at a depth of ten meters. For this reason, they began to be called"troglodytes", which means"living in a hole or a cave," and, accordingly, their homes are troglodyte caves.
Almost everyone is involved in the construction of a new house. village. It takes at least six months to create one new cave. Each crater is ten meters deep and roughly the same
diameter. All these houses are usually of the same type. The bottom of the crater is a courtyard, which opens onto four living rooms: a dining room, a bedroom, a barn for storing olives and grain, livestock paddock. The dwellings of the wealthy Berbers are an amalgamation of several courtyards, which invariably have four rooms each. The bottom of the craters is connected by a large underground passage, where even a camel can pass. Many of these houses have running water, modern refrigerators and televisions. And enterprising Berbers have converted their homes into hotels and restaurants.
The interiors of the underground houses are very simple. The amount of furniture is kept to a minimum. The high walls are smoothly rounded towards the ceiling and form a kind of vault. All rooms must be whitewashed and decorated with bright contrasting ornaments.
In Tunisia, there is the village of Matmata troglodytes, which is usually visited by tourists. It should be noted that the locals of the village are not very happy with guests. In 1970, the state began to provide troglodytes with housing in modern villages. Many abandoned it and remained in underground apartments. Those who stayed developed a businesslike attitude towards the guests, earning on invitations to visit their home. This can be an agreement on an excursion for a certain price, or the hospitality of the hosts can hide the goal of luring money. When accepting an invitation, you need to be prepared that you will be forced to buy a local souvenir and offered to pay for every photo taken in an underground dwelling.
If you arrived in Matmata village in the evening and the buses no longer run, you can spend the night in local underground hotels.
6 kilometers from Matmata is the village of the troglodytes El Haddej.
We also recommend reading Kairouan in Tunis
Topic: Troglodyte caves in Tunis.