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Ennejma Ezzahra

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Ennejma Ezzahra
View of Ennejma Ezzahra
Alternative namesNejma Ezzohara
General information
Typepalace, museum
Town or citySidi Bou Said
Coordinates36°52′09″N 10°20′54″E / 36.86921°N 10.34821°E / 36.86921; 10.34821Coordinates: 36°52′09″N 10°20′54″E / 36.86921°N 10.34821°E / 36.86921; 10.34821
Construction started1912
Completed1922 (1922)
ClientBaron Rodolphe d'Erlanger
Warning bell on the lock on the museum's treasure chest recorded April 2015 Problems playing this file? See media help.

Ennejma Ezzahra ("Star of Venus"), sometimes spelled Nejma Ezzohara, is a historical palace at Sidi Bou Said, in northern Tunisia, built from 1912 - 1922 by Baron Rodolphe d'Erlanger (1872–1932) as his home in Tunisia.[1] It is considered to be an outstanding example of Arab-Islamic architecture in Tunisia and was built historic elements by craftsmen from Tunisia and Morocco. After the independence of Tunisia in 19, it was the first museum to be opened in the country.

History and present use as a centre for musical history

Since 1991, it houses the Centre des Musiques Arabes et Méditerranéennes (Centre for Arabic and Mediterranean Music), a museum and institution for the promotion of the country's musical heritage. Furthermore, it acts as a regular concert venue,[2] and has a collection of historical musical instruments, books, recordings and other objects relating to the music of Tunisia. Many recordings of the centre's historical phonographic archives can be accessed and listened to on their phonoteque website.[3]

During World War II, the building was occupied and looted by the German military, and further damage was done, when allied troops were billeted there later in the war.[1]

Some years after the death of his son Leo Alfred Frédéric d'Erlanger (1898–1978), Leo's widow, Baroness Edwina d'Erlanger (née Prue; died 1994), sold it to the Tunisian government, and it is now preserved as a museum,[4] with many of its original furnishings, including paintings by the Baron, and a treasure-chest reputedly once owned by Suleiman the Magnificent.[1]

Filming location

The palace has also been used for filming, including the making of the movie Justine, based on Lawrence Durrell's novel of that name.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Cowell, Alan (23 July 1987). "In Tunisia, A Rare Visit To a Palace And Its Owner". New York Times. Retrieved 4 May 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "CMAM , Center of Arab and Mediterranean Music, Ennejma Ezzahra". Retrieved 4 May 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Centre des Musiques Arabes et Méditerranéennes - Phonotèque. "Collections". Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  4. ^ "Association des Musees de la Mediterranee". Archived from the original on 5 May 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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Ennejma Ezzahra
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