Republic of Tunisia
Ministry of Cultural Affairs

Museums > The Mahdia Museum > Overview


The Regional Museum of Mahdia

The old building of Mahdia town hall was converted into a regional museum in 1997, while keeping the same original facade dating from 1913. It enjoys an ideal location in the city center, overlooking the square "Sidi Mtyr" and adjoining the imposing monumental entrance gate of the Fatimid old quarters dating back to the 10th century, known locally as "Skifa al-Kahla," (Arabci for the Dark Vestibule).

The museum design, based on a clear open space concept, offers visitors the possibility of building their own visit trail. In order to enhance the flexibility between spaces, the architectural study focused on tapping the zenithal natural light thanks to a bay window on the first floor and large windows on the first floor, making this museum a true "Museum of Light".

he newly laid out premises cover a total usable area of 1350 sq.m., of which 900 sq.m. are dedicated to display,  spreading over two levels, a ground floor and a first floor, with a basement serving as a storage area.  The regional museum of Mahdia, which has a dual archaeological and ethnographic vocation, reflects the great moments of the history of this city and the surrounding region. The visit trail evolves chronologically through four permanent exhibition spaces. On entering the museum, the visitor's attention is captured by a section of the Fatimid city wall adjacent to the Zouila Gate, which has become an inherent part of the museum's content. The first floor is dedicated to the display of artefacts dating back to antiquity. The Libyan-Punic section focuses on objects relating to the funerary rites as discovered in the nearby sites of "Henchir Bouchbib", "Bir Tlalsa" and "El-Hkayma". A first showcase presents Punic stele, carved in limestone, depicting votive practices. The rest of the showcases display a rich array of local modeled and imported ceramic funerary artefacts; cylindrical Punic amphorae and dishes used for daily life purposes (bowls, dishes with offerings, bowls, vials...).  The Romano-African section highlights the economic prosperity and the cultural boom that the cities of the Mahdia region had experienced. The splendid mosaic panels from Thysdrus (depicting a head of Gorgon and Orpheus charming the animals, 3rd c. AD), the elegant white marble statues, the rich collection of ceramic and terracotta objects and the remarkable glass vessels, testify to the level of wealth and savoir-vivre achieved in the region during the Roman period. The multi-purpose room located at the back of the first floor allows this museum to open up to its local and regional environment. It is intended to host various mediation activities, such as workshops, screenings and meetings around themes of a cultural and heritage nature. 

Access to the first floor is via two staircases that allow a good flow of circulation This exhibition area is dedicated to Islamic objects from the Fatimid than the Zirid metropolis  (10th  - 11th  centuries), in addition to a collection of jewelry and traditional costumes from the Mahdia region. The left wing of this space is dedicated to a series of remarkable marble funerary stele engraved with inscriptions in kufik script. In the showcases, ceramic objects from the Raqqada and Sabra Al-Mansouriya excavations are displayed as well as carved and painted wooden corbels from the Great Mosque of Kairouan (11th  century).

 The ethnographic section, which dominates the right wing of the first floor, does not fail to seduce visitors with the richness and sumptuousness of the traditional female costumes of  Mahdia (draped dress, vests, headdresses, scarves, silk belts, head shawls ...). The dimly lit jewelry room hosts two treasures of gold coins, from Raqqa and Chebba, dating back to the Byzantine period, elegant Zirid scrolls and several specimens of traditional jewelry worn until today  by  women of Mahdia during wedding celebrations. The visit ends with a passage from the museum to the terrace of "Skifa al-Kahla", where the visitor will enjoy the exceptional panoramic view overlooking the entire city of Mahdia. 



To see

- Borj

- Museum


Winter timing: 09:30 - 16:00

Summer timing:09:00 - 16:00

Ramadan timing:  09:00-15:00

Visit cost

Resident: 5 Dt

Non-resident: 8 Dt


Closed Monday


- Wc

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- Cafeteria

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