Sidi Bou Said

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Sidi Bou Saïd
سيدي بو سعيد
View from Café des Délices
View from Café des Délices
Sidi Bou Saïd is located in Tunisia
Sidi Bou Saïd
Sidi Bou Saïd
Location in Tunisia
Coordinates: 36°52′N 10°20′E / 36.867°N 10.333°E / 36.867; 10.333
CountryFlag of Tunisia.svg Tunisia
GovernorateTunis Governorate
 • MayorMohamed Khalil Cherif (Nidaa Tounes)
 • Total5,911
Time zoneUTC1 (CET)
Area code(s)36° 52′ 0″ N, 10° 20′ 0″ E

Sidi Bou Said (Arabic: سيدي بو سعيد Sīdi Bū Sɛīd) is a town in northern Tunisia located about 20 km from the capital, Tunis.[1]

Cafe de delice and coast view

Named for a religious figure who lived there, Abu Said al-Baji, it was previously called Jabal el-Menar. The town itself is a tourist attraction and is known for its extensive use of blue and white. It can be reached by a TGM train, which runs from Tunis to La Marsa.


In the 12th century/13th century AD Abu Said Ibn Khalaf Yahya al-Tamimi al-Beji arrived in the village of Jabal el-Menar and established a sanctuary. After his death in 1231, he was buried there. In the 18th century wealthy citizens of Tunis built residences in Sidi Bou Said.

During the 1920s, Rodolphe d'Erlanger introduced the blue-white theme to the town.[2] His home, Ennejma Ezzahra, is now a museum that has a collection of musical instruments, and organizes concerts of classical and Arabic music.[3]

Famous people[edit]

Sidi Bou Said has a reputation as a town of artists.[4][5] Artists who have lived in or visited Sidi Bou Said include famous occultist Aleister Crowley, Paul Klee, Gustave-Henri Jossot, August Macke and Louis Moillet. Tunisian artists in Sidi Bou Said are members of École de Tunis (painting school of Tunis), such as Yahia Turki, Brahim Dhahak and Ammar Farhat. French philosopher Michel Foucault lived there for a number of years while teaching at the University of Tunis.[6][7] French author Andre Gide also had a house in the town.

Former Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi was born in Sidi Bou Said,[8] as was Moufida Tlatli, film director, screenwriter, and editor.[9]

Azzedine Alaïa had a house in Sidi Bou Said which is now transformed into an art gallery.[10]

French singer Patrick Bruel sang about Sidi Bou Said, specifically about Café des Délices, in his song Au Café des Délices in his 1999 album Juste Avant.



  1. ^ Kerrou, Mohamed. "Remembering Essebsi, the late maestro of Tunisian politics". The Conversation. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  2. ^ Binous, Jamila; Baklouti, Naceur; Ben Tanfous, Aziza; Bouteraa, Kadri; Rammah, Mourad; Zouari, Ali (2002). "II. 1 SIDI-BOU-SAÏD". Ifriqiya: Thirteen Centuries of Art and Architecture in Tunisia (2nd ed.). Museum With No Frontiers, MWNF. ISBN 9783902782199.
  3. ^ "Top 20 sites in Tunisia". BonAdvisor.
  4. ^ "Sidi Bou Saïd artists village - Tunisia". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  5. ^ Millard, Leigh (2017-08-30). "A Piece of Paradise on Africa's Northern Coast". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  6. ^ "Foucault, Michel | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  7. ^ "Michel Foucault | French philosopher and historian". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  8. ^ "Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi dies aged 92". France 24. 2019-07-25. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  9. ^ "Moufida Tlatli, Silences of the Palace director, dies aged 73". the Guardian. 2021-02-09. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  10. ^ Patate, Ze Brune. "La demeure tunisienne de Azzedine Alaia transformée en galerie d'art". FFDesigner (in French).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°52′N 10°20′E / 36.867°N 10.333°E / 36.867; 10.333