Matmata

Matmata

Located 40 km to the southwest of Gabes, Matmata is a trogoldyte village hanging on a mountainside, at a height of about 600 m. At first designed for defensive purposes, Matmata has become one of the most visited sites in the south of Tunisia.
The history of the location goes back further than two centuries. A Berber population digged a whole village into the stone. The organization of the village shows a well defined socio-economic structure. The way houses are placed resembles a well, 10 meters deep. All the rooms overlook a central yard, the ground floor is reserved for habitation, the upper floor is where food and annual harvests are kept. The entry to the village is a tunnel which slightly expands as it approaches the yard to shelter camels and other animals.
During the first half of the 20th century, the village of Matmata was used as a shelter by the Fellagas. The defensive design of the village, in addition to the height of the site it is built on, allowed the Fellagas to have more control over their actions against the French colonizers.
The inhabitants of Matmata are mainly animal raisers and arbor culturists. Over the last century, they have begun a touristic activity.
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