Saturday, November 29, 2008



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"








Anonymous said...

Hi everybody! The blue village of the Sidi Bou Said is a must see when you visit Tunis. It’s a wonderful village, made famous by the Baron Erlanger and his fantastic mansion!
Hope you enjoy this new post!

S-V-H said...

Oh, I LOVE this post, Gil! Beautiful, beautiful and the colors are amazing, very colorful!

Thanks for sharing again about a wonderful spot on this earth!

Light and Voices said...

Kudos! I love that you include historical information along with captions and the images are fantastic!

Ron said...

Very wonderful pictures:) I would like to take an afternoon nap in one of those beds, looks very comfortable.

Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes, it was a great day with the family.

Vamsee Modugula said...

Nice photo blog. Love the colors in your pictures here.

Miss Kim said...

No wonder it's called "Blue Village"! You know how much I adore blue... sigh...

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

Une bouffée de nostalgie !
cf la chanson de Moustaki par Serge Reggiani.

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

I love the blue and white also and the Baron's palace---WOW. He was quite an artist too (couldn't help but notice). Those beds were awesome, I wonder if they're as comfortable as they look.

Have a great weekend,

alicesg said...

Very lovely village. I was told that houses that were painted blue was to repel bugs, especially mosquitoes. I wondered if that is the reason why the village paint theirs blue. Have a nice weekend trotter.

SusuPetal said...

Sidi Bou Said was truly worth seeing, I enjoyed some nice tea there in a cafe, looking at the sear. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, that is one amazing mansion! Love the decors and plentiful artworks. Stunning!

Lakshmi said...

the of my favourite colours ..liked the decors as well.In india, Jodhpur is called the blue city

alok said...

I am doing ok! thanks for your concerns.

Nice pictures and really liked the blue :)

You have a nice weekend.

Stella Bella said...

Great photos! :) I want that sofa in my place! hehehe

Dick said...

Great, and so colorful.

Cutie said...

I like the beautiful design of artwork at the ceiling. Btw, the dummies are pretty freaky. Hehe...

Anonymous said...

I like the name The Blue Village. I like the colors I see here and the patterns and textures. Very nice photo shots.


lv2scpbk said...

Love all the blue and the details in the other photos are wonderful. You sure do know how to capture details.

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love the pretty sleeping quarters. ~ Lynn

Nikon said...

It does look just like a greek town.
I love blue, & this is a beautiful shade of blue.
The interior detail of the mansion is staggering - the Moorish "school" of architecture is so ornate!

Lori said...

Your posts always make me long to hop on a plane and travel somewhere. There are such wonders out there, and this place is no exception. The blue village is simply spectacular. What vibrant colors!

Lilli & Nevada said...

Gill, these are lovely, i especially like the bed it gives it so much character

lyliane six said...

Superbes photos et souvenir de cette belle ville aux odeurs de jasmin.

hpy said...

Je ne me sentirais pas trop dépaysée dans ce village, les couleurs bleu et blanc sont celles de mon drapeau, le premier tapis est aussi usé que le mien qui me suit depuis toujours et même avant, le stucco me plait toujours autant, les meubles en acajou aussi, car dans le bois, je préfère le rouge. A bientôt.

Joy said...

Gil, these are amazing photos that really represented a very inviting Tunisia. I work with someone who's originally from there, but he never talks about it. I love the blues!!! Were there many cats? Coz that's the reason I haven't visited Greece and Turkey yet!

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comments.

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Rakesh Vanamali said...

Hi Gil

These shots are marvelous as always! Blue is my favorite of all colors!

Warm Regards


Marguerite-marie said...

tot d'abord félicitation pour tos les awards reçus . Tu les bien mérités car tu nous enchantes avec tes reportages. Celui sur la Tunisie et en particulier ce village est splendide. Merci je reviendrai pour prendre plus de temps dans la visite.
merci pour tes visites

Z said...

So it was the work of one man to convert the village to the blue and white scheme? I wonder what it was like before? It's lovely, either way.

raccoonlover1963/Lisa Myers said...

Hi Gil. Great pictures. Love the Baron's palace. I saw a few pieces of furniture in there I would love to have, especially the two old white cabinets in the first "inside" picture.
Have a great week.

RuneE said...

The first pictures clearly shows that the city bears its nickname proudly - I have seldom seen so powerful blue colour. For the rest - they new luxury when they saw it!

Marie said...

I like the white and blue houses and the baron's paintings.

 gmirage said...

It is very appropriate to be called blue village! Its a favorite color of mine too!Glad you enjoyed well, hopes here of a nice week and thank you for always taking time to visit my blog. Take care!

NormanTheDoxie said...

That dining table is bigger than my city apartment.

Mariposa said...

it's beautiful! reminds me of al-hambra ;)

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Hi Gil

I got something for you on



Maria Verivaki said...

wow, i think i want to visit tunisia after this post

leo said...

pics in the Bardo museum post earlier were like in postcards! awesome. and i luvvvv these blue n white combination. Castle interior is equally impressive.

namaki said...

This is a reat reportage about this residence ! It's almost a palace ! I have visited this village and took pictures of the doors ... but haven't got them any more ... have to go back then ! ;-)

Olivier said...

en effet un village totalement atypique des autres villages. j'aime bien la collection des instruments de musiques, ils sont superbes. Et le palais pourrait etre celui des milles et une nuit. La tunisie est vraiment un beau pays.

Cergie said...

Que dire d'autre que "somptueux" et rester bouche bée devant tant de splendeur. Tous ce travail du bois et du stuck, ces tissus, ces peintures, ces meubles, ce raffinement, cet art de vivre... On se croirait au temps des rois de France... Avant la révolution !
J'adore les maisons aux volets bleus. Le bleu est vraiment avec le blanc couleur de soleil, car il raffraichit....

Anonymous said...

Beaucoup de plaisir à découvrir les photos de ce pays que j'aime beaucoup, et oû je vienss de refaire un séjour il y a quelques semaines. J'ai aussi passé par le Bardo, Tunis et le nord de la Tunisie. J'ai mis des photos sur mon blog. Bravo pour ce blog qui fait découvrir le monde.

Thistlemoon said...

Wow what beautiful photos! Tunisia sounds like my kind of place. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos!

Louise said...

I loved all the blue outside, but the inside took my breath away. My favorites are the alcoves with drapes of silky fabric. Just beautiful.

tr3nta said...

wow... beautiful place and even more beautiful shots... I loved the blues on the outside and the golds inside...

Indrani said...

Excellent series of shots, Gil. Beautiful rooms, all well preserved.

Tawnya Shields said...

This is one beautiful village. They have such astounding tastes in colors and patterns. Love it! :o)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Sidi Bou Said was wonderful to see! The palace was fascinating. Thanks so much for all the photos and explainations, Gil!

Pat in NYC

Pietro Brosio said...

Splendid sequence of photographs, Gil!
The blue village, the sumptuous rooms, are so attractive. I enjoy all the images! Really a great journey.
Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Just like we have pink city (Jaipur) and yellow city, this blue city is amazing.

My Unfinished Life said...

like the blue city and the blue sky.....

Venksh said...

wow awesome picture nice colors...
nice picture's interior design...

i would like to follow ur blog its very nice n i liked it very much.

if u looking for some blog contest check this link.


Anonymous said...

Hi Folks! Sorry for the delay in replying, but couldn’t make it this long weekend! Anyhow, did you notice that my delay in posting has been kept in only twelve months? Great achievement… ;))

Sidi Bou Said is a lovely place! And blue… ;)

This was supposed to be a pictures blog, but the «subtitles» added some life to it… ;)

I don’t know whether the beds are comfortable, but they looked quite nice… ;))

Thanks for your first comment on this blog! Please feel free to comment any time you get here…

I called it «Blue Village», but I’m not sure whether it’s an actual name for Sidi Bou said… ;)

Ah, Moustaki, Reggiani… et bon Brel, Brassens, Ferré…

The Baron was also an interesting artist; some of the paintings aren’t that bad… ;)
Comfortable, I don’t know; couldn’t try… ;)

Alice SG,
Know nothing of blues and bugs, but it seems they painted it blue because it’s the most beautiful colour around…. ;))

You were probably sitting at the Sidi Chabanne… Great views!

You have good taste, no wonder… ;)

Jodhpur, I would love to get there, but it seems times are hard to visit now… ;-(

Great to read that you’re ok!

Please, feel free to take any sofa you wish… ;))


Those dummies are amazing!

I named it, but I’m not sure whether it corresponds to reality… Anyhow, it seems to make sense... ;)

It happens, but this time credit must be given to my wife, who took most of these pictures!

It’s an amazing building!

You’re right; it looks quite similar to some Greek villages!

«It’s not such a small world» is the motto of this blog. I think you should start packing… ;))

The beds are amazing!

Les odeurs en hiver, avec la pluie et le froid, n’étaient pas très présents… ;))

C’est vrai qu’on pense toujours au drapeau grec avec le bleu et blanc, mais la Finlande en a aussi; mais il faut avouer que le bleu finlandais est beaucoup plus pâle… ;))
Meubles en acajou… oh lala!

Must confess that I haven’t paid much attention to dogs and cats, but don’t remember to see so many of them around… ;))

We are already two on blue! Thanks for the magnificent award you were so kind to pass to me!

Merci! Prends ton temps; tout de même les photos seront toujours là, tandis que Blogger ne s’évapore pas… ;))

Well, it seems the Baron had some influence… ;)

I wouldn’t mind also to have some of the items the Baron collected to decorate his mansion… ;)

Luxury was something the Baron could definitely afford… ;))

We also have some of those blue and white houses in Alentejo, but not that much these days… ;)

I thought it was appropriate, but I don’t know whether it actually corresponds to a real nickname… ;))

Lisa Shaw,
Come on, don’t be that modest… ;))

I know; everything reminds you of the Alhambra… ;)

It’s not that far actually, but I don’t know whether you’ll find some direct flight…

I love the blue, but must confess that the Bardo was an awesome vision! Great museum, wonderful pieces, exceptional collection!

First rule; never lose your pictures…

Presque un palais des mille et une nuits… C’est vrai que Sidi Bou Said n’est pas peut-être très représentatif des villages tunisiens… ;)

«La bouche bée…»; c’est bien ça quand tu rentres dans quelques-uns de ces palais… Les rois de l’Ancien Régime devraient la vivre très bien, leur vie… ;)

Merci. Heureux de savoir que vous avez aussi joui des beautés tunisiennes!

I think you would definitely prefer the Algarve… ;))

Those alcoves make you dream awaken!

Blue and gold, what a combination!!

True, that they kept everything quite well!

It’s a great strolling place, and the blue and white houses make it a special treat!

You’re welcome! My pleasure…

It’s just across the Mediterranean from Italy… ;)

But you also have a blue city (Jodhpur), that I’ll visit one day… ;))

Shooting Star,
Must confess that I like all blues… ;))

Thanks. Glad that you joined the followers!

Emery Roth said...

Bagpipes! I have sent my wife to visit. She is a piper.

Anonymous said...

That's amazing! But confess, you weren't expecting bagpipes in Tunisia... ;))

Baron's Life said...

Sidi Bou Said has become a must see place in my books

Anonymous said...

No wonder; it's beautiful!! ;))

A Lady's Life said...

It is a outstanding place with the ocean view and museum.
And the musical instruments are like Scotish bagpipes.

Trotter said...

Sidi Bou Said is probably one of the most amazing villages I've seen... and you were not expecting to see bagpipes in Tunisia, were you? ;))