El Kef is situated 175 kilometres (109 mi) to the west of Tunis
and some 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of the border between Algeria and Tunisia. It has a population of 45,191 (2004 census).
The old town is built on the cliff face of the table-top Jebel Dyr
mountain. El Kef was the provisional capital of Tunisia during World War II
. It was the command centre of the Front de Libération Nationale
during the Algerian War of Independence
against the French
in the 1950s.
Landscape near El Kef
The highest-elevated city of Tunisia, at 780 metres (2,560 ft), its metropolitan area
reaches 2,500 hectares (6,200 acres) of which 45 hectares (110 acres) lie within the interior of the old walled Medina quarter
The municipality of El Kef is shared between two national delegates
, East Kef and West Kef, which correspond to the two municipal boroughs.
Ruins of Roman baths at the foot of the kasbah
Kasbah of Le Kef and surroundings.
El Kef has since ancient times been the principal city of the High-Tell Mountains and of the Tunisian northwest of which it constituted, until recently, the political center, the most important religious center, and the dominant stronghold.
In the early 5th century Apiarius of Sicca
was a priest here, and instigated a dispute between the churches of Carthage and Rome concerning the jurisdiction of the Bishops of Africa when he appealed to the church of Rome against his excommunication by the church of Carthage.
Around 439, invading Vandals
conquered the African Romans near the coast. Eventually, El Kef became part of a Berber Kingdom.
In the 17th century, a Kasbah of Le Kef
was built to house a permanent garrison (ujaq
); the construction was completed by the addition of fortified ramparts in 1740. This did not however prevent the taking and pillaging of the city by the Algerians
in 1756, nor the occupation by the French military from 1881, following the partial collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
On July 8, 1884, the authorities of the new French Protectorate
declared El Kef a municipality, one of the first in the country.
In 1973, there was a summit meeting here between the Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba
and the Algerian president Houari Boumédiène
. The latter proposed a constitution for a Tunisian-Algerian union which Bourguiba declined in favor of the development of economic cooperation between the two countries.
The climate is usually unstable, ranging from summer heat waves to winter snow blizzards.
Domes of the Sidi Bou Makhlouf Mausoleum.
The vestiges, well preserved, of a three-naved Roman basilica
dating from the beginning of the 5th century named Dar El Kous, dedicated to Saint Peter
, have been discovered.
The Museum of the Popular Arts and Traditions of El Kef, housed within a museum built in the 18th century, presents collections which retrace the social habits and customs which prevailed before the independence of the country.
It is the seat of the National Center for the Dramatic and Scenic Arts of El Kef.
The city also organizes the festival of "24 hours of non-stop theatre".
The cuisine of El Kef has two recipes specific to the region. First, a typical regional bread, mjamaa
or khobz el aid
, is prepared at festival times, covered with an egg and decorated with pastry. Second, borzgane
is a type of couscous
lightly sweetened by alternating layers of dry fruits, dates, and lamb meat.
The Festival of Mayou, also known as the Festival of Borzgane, brings the traditional Keffish couscous
up to contemporary taste.
The city council is composed of 22 members, including a president, vice president, borough chief, six assistants and thirteen counselors.
Schools, institutes, and faculties include the El Kef Higher Institute of Applied Studies in the Humanities, El Kef Higher Institute of Music and Theatre, El Kef Higher Institute of Information Technology, El Kef Higher Institute of Physical Education, El Kef Graduate School of Agriculture, and El Kef Higher Institute of Nursing Science.
Radio Le Kef, the regional radio service founded November 7, 1991, covers the northwest of the country.
The transportation company of El Kef is the only company offering a public transit
service by bus
. The city is linked with surrounding cities by a network of taxis
, and with the capital, Tunis, by a regional railway line
passing through Dahmani
The El Kef Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education runs the annual Tunisian Women's Soccer Championship.
El Kef has had a sister-city relationship since 1993 with Bourg-en-Bresse
, officially sealed in 1999 and 2000 with the signing of an agreement of exchange and friendship.
Notes and references
- ^ "Recensement de 2004 (Institut national de la statistique)" (in French). Archived from the original on 2015-11-28.
- ^ Anthony Ham, Abigail Hole (2004). Tunisia. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74104-189-9.
- ^ Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb, Johannes Hendrik Kramers, Bernard Lewis, Charles Pellat et Joseph Schacht, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. IV, éd. Brill, Leyde, 1954, p. 403
- ^ Nicole Grimaud (1984). La politique extérieure de l'Algérie (1962-1978) (Karthala ed.). Paris. pp. 218–219. ISBN 9782865371112.
- ^ "Les normales climatiques en Tunisie entre 1981 2010" (in French). Ministère du Transport. Archived from the original on 19 December 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
- ^ "Données normales climatiques 1961-1990" (in French). Ministère du Transport. Archived from the original on 21 December 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
- ^ "Les extrêmes climatiques en Tunisie" (in French). Ministère du Transport. Archived from the original on 21 December 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
- ^ "Réseau des stations météorologiques synoptiques de la Tunisie" (in French). Ministère du Transport. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
- ^ François Baratte, Féthi Béjaoui et Zeïneb Ben Abdallah, Recherches archéologiques à Haïdra : miscellanea, 2, éd. École française de Rome, Rome, 1999, p. 73
- ^ Charles Diehl, L'Afrique byzantine : histoire de la domination byzantine en Afrique. 533-709, éd. Franklin, New York, 1959, p. 422
- ^ Butlers "Lives of the Saints"
The Station ID for Le Kef is 23232111.
- Tahar Ayachi, El Kef, éd. Office national du tourisme tunisien, Tunis, 2007
- Abdelhamid Larguèche [sous la dir. de], Revoir El Kef, éd. MC-Editions, Carthage, 2005 ISBN 9973-807-50-2
- Camille Mifort, Vivre au Kef. Quand la Tunisie était française, éd. MC-Editions, Carthage, 2008
- Cornelia Smet, Si ma grand-mère était Keffoise, éd. MC-Editions, Carthage, 2005 ISBN 9973-807-55-3
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Last edited on 20 March 2021, at 16:37
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