The Fadhloun mosque
The Fadhloun mosque in Djerba is one of the most curious, the most amazing monuments, not only of the island of Djerba, but of all the ancient architectural heritage of Tunisia.
Built in the 14th century, this mosque benefits from an architecture typical of the religious buildings of the island but designed according to an atypical plan, unique in the Tunisian architectural heritage.
The mosque dates from the fourteenth century, consists of three subsets:
* A prayer hall rising in the middle of an enclosed courtyard whose floor is covered with a lime plaster;
* Interior outbuildings including a main room which housed the Koranic teaching flanked by two small rooms intended one for housing, the other for keeping food reserves;
* External outbuildings including a room for ritual ablutions and a Koranic school, to which are an underground grain mill and bakery.
The massive prayer hall, with a squat minaret, and whose exterior walls have been reinforced by buttresses, betrays military concerns: the Fadhloun mosque belonged to a chain of mosques not far from the coast and which represented a second line of defense in the event of an enemy attack.
In addition to its religious role, teaching and bread supply, with its architecture of a small fortress, the mosque played a role of second line of defense after those of the coasts guaranteed by the forts (bordjs).
Seen from afar, in its Djerbian “campaign”, it presents the appearance of the harmony of the religious buildings of the island. Closer up, we are surprised by the arrangements and the “disarticulation” of a whole from which, however, emanates a transcendence that subjugates the visitor.