Souk Ech-Chaouachine

Souk of the craftsmen of the Chechia

It is perhaps by its size the largest souk in the Medina. Its history is closely linked to that of the Morisco immigrants who settled in the Medina at the beginning of the 17th century. Indeed, the fez, a kind of red woolen headgear is manufactured exclusively by the chaouachi craftsmen, all of them exclusively of Andalusian origin, so much so that they constituted at that time one of the most important corporations of the country. They had the monopoly of the fez which was manufactured only in the Medina of Tunis. It was therefore quite natural that Mohamed Bey El Mouradi ordered the construction of the souk in 1691-1692. The ceremonial, rules and other gestures specific to the trade have long remained the prerogative of the Moriscos.

The souk is divided into three parts: the El Hafsi souk on Kasbah Street, the Petit souk and the Grand souk, located between Sidi Ben Arous Street and the El Bey souk, near the Dar El Bey. However, the long stages of making spread over several months, only the shaping, felting and finishing are made in the souk.