Tunisia, Skiff el-Kala Gate

Tunisia, Skiff el-Kala Gate

Mahdia – the ancient city of Tunisia, known for its medina, and although its fortress walls are not very old, some interesting buildings have been preserved here. The gates of Skif el-Kala are the fortress gates leading to the central Cairo square.

They were built by the ruling Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century, as was customary in the Middle Ages, facing the mainland. They were built both for defense as a defensive structure and a gate leading to the palace of the rulers. When the Spaniards, leaving in 1554, destroyed the protective walls, the Black Gate, or the gate of Skiff el-Kala, they did not touch, but they had to be restored. After the gate, a serpentine winding corridor 21 meters long begins.

The gates were built in such a way that the invaders coming from the sea had little chance of entering the city – they had to walk to the gate and this was the only way to enter the city. At this time, the warriors who were on the fortress walls could hit a part of the troops from above – with arrows, boiling water, hot oil. Reaching the gates of the enemy, six descending forged iron bars blocked the way.

If you turn onto a stone staircase from an opening in the gate, then you can climb it to the roof of the corridor with terraces, which offer a magnificent view of the city with its surroundings and the ever-busy port. Also, once a week, one of the famous noisy city oriental bazaars with small shops and restaurants unfolds around the gates of Skif el-Kala. On it you can buy a variety of goods, including souvenirs with the image of the gate itself.

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