Sfax and Kairouan

In their thousand-year history, there were many links, especially artistically and culturally, between Tunisia and Sicily. Under the rule of the Aghlabids, a School of Medicine and a School of Wisdom were established in Kairouan, considered to be the fourth holiest city in Islam after Mecca. The city – al-Abbasiya Palace – was founded in 801. The city quickly became the capital of the Aghlabid dynasty and an artistic reference point for the whole of Tunisia. As was the citadel of Sfax, which had a thriving trade market and a fortified fortress. In 1148, and until about 1159, many of the coastal cities belonged to Roger II. In fact, in the Cefalù Cathedral, stylistic similarities of an Arab matrix, with the minarets in the Sfax and Kairouan mosques, have been noted, particularly in the façade.