The typical dwelling, called in Djerba houch, looks like a small fortress and has an exteriorly closed architecture. In this construction, originally modest and strangely beautiful in its simplicity, the rooms are all structured around the inner courtyard. The kitchen is separated for safety and healthy reasons. In the bedrooms, the bed is situated in an alcove, the doukhana. The openings were created to optimize the external temperature, the arches and roof domes keep the freshness. Large jars placed under the gargoyles receive the rain water for a household use. In the most luxurious houses, the Ottoman influences are strong: the decoration is more developed and the colours more present. In Djerba Heritage, you will discover all the traditional building techniques which are perfectly adapted to the living conditions of the island.
The houch is situated in the menzel centre, an agricultural exploitation that gathers the various family’s activities.
From the outside, it looks like a fortress and it has an exteriorly closed architecture which preserves the intimacy and helps for the protection of the inhabitants.
A unique and narrow entrance door permits the access to the main habitation. You will go through the makhsen diaf, a room especially built for the visitors.
In the bedrooms, chests are used as storage places. On the right, the water room is under the stairs to the ghorfa, room used during the summer.
The family housework takes place in the open sky patio.