This picturesque city is perfect for losing yourself in its narrow streets and sightseeing at many magnificent monuments. One of which is the Great Mosque. Built in 921, it was the first building of its kind built by the Fatimids. Other attractions to visit include the Medina, the Place du Caire and the Mosque of Mustafá Hamza, among others.
Another site worth visiting is the Skifa Kahla (or Bab Zouila, that is, the 'dark door' or 'Zawila gate'). It is a large 16th century fortified gate which is a reconstruction of a previous structure destroyed by the Spanish in 1554, as they left the city.
We also recommend visiting the Burj el Kebir fort located between Ras Ifriqya and the Mediterranean. The name means 'Great Castle', and it was constructed by the Turks in 1595, during the government of Abu Abdallah Mohammad Pasha. The corners bastions were added in the 18th century. Although the current building, which is easily accessed from the old city, lacks decoration it offers extraordinary views.
Next to this fort is an evocative marine cemetery, repository of thousands of white tombs that have been placed anarchically for centuries. Nearby, you will have the opportunity to visit the old port of Mahdia, the work of the Fatimids and possibly used by the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians in the past. It was here that the Genoese landed in 1087.
As you can see from the first moment, the picturesque doors of Mahdia have some special characteristics. Some of those found in the old town, whether in mosques or private homes, use materials from the Roman era; there is even one house which exhibits a Punic half column. Although they are of different colours, the predominant tone is green.
In the square that accesses the old town and next to Skifa Kahla gate is the Mahdia Museum. The museum has extensive collections of Punic, Roman and Byzantine North African culture and also has a section dedicated to underwater archaeology including two marble columns from the Mahdia shipwreck. The wreck is a Greek vessel sunk during a storm in the 1st century BC containing many works of art and sculptures of marble and bronze. Two separate rooms show jewels and coins from different eras, as well as looms used in the region.
Please note however that many of the pieces salvaged from the famous Mahdia shipwreck are currently housed in the Bardo Museum in the capital city Tunis.
Next to the museum, from a small patio, you can climb to the tower above the Skifa Kahla gate, and from where you can enjoy panoramic views of the old town.
Don't forget that Mahdia is between Bekalta and Salakta, in an area with outstanding archaeological sites and is well, prepared for tourism.