Headquarters of the National Heritage Institute
Built in place of the Khourassanides’ residence, on the street of the Castle Square in Beb Menara, this palace has been inhabited throughout its history by princes, deys and beys. This explains why it is considered the most beautiful residence of the Medina, since its illustrious occupants have all added their touch to the building, embellishing or enlarging it.
The first to have lived there was Ismail Kahia, Georgian Mamlouk of Hammouda Pasha, and Kahia of the Mhalla (commander of the armed column of the interior of the country) until his exile. Then lived there Youssef Saheb Ettabaâ, Mamlouk of Moldavian origin who became a politician of the regency of Tunis. The latter undertook renovation work in view of his future union with Princess Fatma, sister of Sultan Hammouda Pacha. Unfortunately, he was assassinated after the death of his protector Hammouda Pacha. The third to have occupied it was General Hussein in his capacity as president of the municipality of Tunis, the first to occupy this position, in 1858.
Dar Hussein was also occupied by General Léonard-Léopold Forgemol de Bostquénard, commander of the French forces in the country, who set up his staff there, which remained there throughout the protectorate. Today and since 1957, the palace is the headquarters of the National Institute of Archaeology and Art, which became the National Heritage Institute in 1993.