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Kairouan:see Qayrawan, AlQayrawan, Al
, city (1994 pop. 102,600), NE Tunisia. It is a sacred city of Islam. Founded in 670 by Uqbah bin Nafi, an Arab leader, it was the seat of Arab governors in W Africa until 800.
..... Click the link for more information. , Tunisia.
a city in eastern Tunisia; administrative center of Kairouan wilayat. Population, 46, 000 (1966). Railroad station and highway junction; it is an important historical and commercial and industrial center of the country. The city has domestic manufacture of carpets and leather goods, as well as enterprises of the food industry.
Kairouan was founded in a.d. 670; in the early eighth century it became the residence of the Umayyad vicegerents in Maghreb. In the eighth century it was twice the center of the rebellious Kharijites. From 800 to 909 it was the capital of the Aghlabite dynasty (this was the city’s zenith). After the capital was moved to Mahdia by the Fatimids, the political significance of Kairouan began to decrease. It long retained its role as Tunisia’s religious, theological, and scientific center. In the 11th century, invading Bedouin devastated the city; it was restored by the Hafsids in the 13th century. In 1881, in spite of stubborn resistance, Kairouan was occupied by French colonizers; since 1956 it has been a part of independent Tunisia. It is a pilgrimage site for Maghreb Muslims.
One of the largest monuments of Moresque architecture—the Great Mosque (Sidi Okba; the foundation was laid in 670, and it was rebuilt in 836; additions were made and restoration carried out in 863, the 13th century, the 14th century, the 17th century, and later), with a many-columned hall, a courtyard surrounded by arcades, and a minaret—is located in Kairouan, as is the Mosque of the Three Doors (866). The city has a museum of Islamic art.