Matmata

Matmata is a trogoldyte village hanging on a mountainside, at a height of about 600 m  located 40 km to the southwest of Gabes, It's an unusual, unearthly looking region. the village is built on mountainsides and the local people live like cave dwellers at the bottom of the sweet-smelling caves of chalk, open to the sky and hollowed out by man.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 ground. The organization of the village shows a well defined socio-economic structure.  The feature of Matmata is its underground houses which are warm in winter and cool in the summer. These dwellings are created by digging a large pit in the ground. Around the perimeter of this pit, artificial caves are then dug to be used as rooms, with some homes comprised of multiple pits, connected by a trench like passageways. 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. It was in this wonderful lunar landscape that producers such as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas shot «Indiana Jones» and «Star Wars».

Book Now