SIDI BOU SAID - DECEMBER 2007
This post is dedicated to Sidi Bou Said, a hill top village nicknamed «little Greece» due to its Mediterranean style houses, white walls, blue doors and shutters, and bougainvillea! The legend tells that Saint Louis - coming to war - fell in love with a Berber princess and, changing his name became the patron saint of the village. But the village got its name from a Muslim religious figure who lived there, Abou Said ibn Khalef ibn Yahia Ettamini el Beji (before he came along, it was called Jabal el-Menar). It is located 20 km from the capital of Tunisia, Tunis, and was home to the Baron Von Erlanger who built his palace here and decided that the village should always be painted white and blue. The village was later also home to writers and artists (Andre Gide, Simone de Beauvoir, Paul Klee), visiting the Café Sidi Chabanne (with fabulous sea views), or the legendary Café des Nattes.
"CITY HALL - «La Mairie» is one of the charming buildings in Sidi Bou Said"
"STREETS - With the arrival of Baron Rodolphe d’Erlanger in 1920, the light blue and white colours started dominating Sidi Bou Said, and the village began showing the aspect it has nowadays"
"PALACE - The Baron Rodolphe d'Erlanger (Boulogne-Billancourt, France, June 7, 1872 - Tunis, October 29, 1932) was a French painter and musicologist, specialist in Arabic music. He helped to organize the 1932 Cairo Congress of Arab Music, and is also known for his six-volume work about the history of Arabic music. His palace at Sidi Bou Said, which he named Dar Ennejma Ezzahra (Star of Venus), was built between 1909 and 1921 and now houses the Centre for Arab and Mediterranean Musics"
"VIEWS FROM THE PALACE GARDEN - At the foot of the cliffs lies the Port of Sidi Bou Said, a modern marina with restaurants and hotels"
"CENTRE DES MUSIQUES ARABES ET MEDITERRANEENNES - Baron Erlanger’s fantastic mansion and collection of musical instruments has been converted into a museum, and so visitors may enjoy the splendour of this 1001 Nights «Palace of the Star of Venus»"
"LIBRARY - The entrance to the Library is a wonderful work of art"
"PAINTINGS - The Baron was also a painter, and many of his paintings are still around the palace..."
"DAR EL-ANNABI - Built towards the end of the 18th Century, this house was restored to depict a typical Tunisian home of that time"