Dar Ben Abdallah Museum, Tunis
Close to Tourbet el Bey, you will probably find this fine Italianate mansion as you stroll the alleyways of the medina. It should be famous for its beautifully proportioned courtyard, the fine craftsmanship of its tilework and its finely carved wooden ceilings.
However, you are most likely to remember the tacky dioramas depicting the lifestyles of a senior official of the Tunisian Gentry of the 18th century.
Entry will cost you 2 dinars, with an extra dinar for use of a camera.
Dar Ben Abdallah is a magnificent palace built in 1796. It used to be the house of one Tunis Bey’s son-in-laws, then it was bought by the wealthy silk weaver Ben Abdallah, and later sold to a French orientalist painter in the beginning of the 20th century. A sumptuous vestibule (driba in Arabic) leads to a patio paved with marble and surrounded by columns on the first and second floor. The walls are covered with ceramic tiles and finely worked stucco. The rooms have wonderful painted ceilings. The four rooms around the patio are home to an exhibit about the 19th century Tunis bourgeois families. The domestic life is depicted through items of that time, such as dresses, embroidery, weaving, wedding accessories, and fineries. Ancient children's toys and clothes are on display in one room. More photos can be found in one of my travelogues.
Open: 9.30am - 4.30pm Mon-Sat. Admission: TD2, camera TD1.
This 18th century palace Dar Ben Abdallah houses the Musée du Patrimoine Traditionnel de la Ville de Tunis- the folk museum. The expositions in four ground rooms represents the life syle in the end of the 19th and in the beginning of 20th century. In one room is represented women's activities, in another - wedding scene, in third - men's daily life. The internal countryward is extremely beautiful.