Bir Barouta

Star Travel Rating

4/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Travelled with

Husband

Product name

Product country

Product City

Reasons for trip

Date of travel

2012

Bir Barouta is one of the sights included in the multi-sight ticket for Kairouan. I had read negative reports in the guide books and rather discounted it. Our driver guide had different ideas.

It is in a domed building in the centre of the Medina which looks a bit like a Mosque. It was built in the 17thC to surround the Holy Well of Okba ibn Nafi. A blindfolded camel decorated with scarves by women wanting a baby, plods round turning a large wooden wheel used to raise the water. He is controlled by man hitting a stick on the floor to give instructions – stop, start. A second smaller wheel with jugs is used to pour water into cups for tourists to drink, for an obligatory tip. (We declined the water and didn’t leave a tip.) We were the only people there and it wasn’t as tacky as I feared. Time your visit carefully to avoid the crowds. There is little space and would be bloody if busy.

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