Outside a Moorish Café, Tunis, Tunisia; World Digital Library


Tunisia – Medina of Tunis

This photochrome print is part of “Views of Architecture and People in Tunisia” from the catalog of the Detroit Photographic Company. It shows men gathered outside a café in Tunis. Such cafés offered men pleasant shaded spots to be sociable. It is interesting that one of the individuals deep in conversation is dressed in European clothing, which indicates that the clientele at the end of the 19th century was somewhat diverse. Tunisia was occupied by the French in 1881 and administered as a protectorate in which the nominal authority of local government was recognized. Europeans at one time made up half the population in Tunis. Rapid redevelopment of the city occurred as the French built new boulevards, neighborhoods, and infrastructure and the city became divided into a traditional Arab-populated medina and a new quarter populated by immigrants.

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