Tunisian Underground Houses

Tunisian Underground Houses

In the arid valleys of southern Tunisia’s Djebel Dahar region, people have lived for centuries in underground houses whose earthen casing provides protection against searing summer heat and winter winds. But in recent decades, rural depopulation has meant fewer people live in the homes.
Interior of Tunisian Underground Houses

Interior of Tunisian Underground Houses

See slideshow of amazing photos at the source: FARS News Agency
Thanks to Charlotte for this tip. She said, “Central courtyard, individual quiet private rooms, constant temperature, etc. Different family generations could all live in one of these communities. Probably have a community well, maybe even a communal kitchen, bathroom, etc. Sounds almost perfect! Oh, and a dirt house!”

Owen: This is true sustainable housing! I could easily live in a place like this. The first thing I’d do is throw away the TV and set up good Internet. Then I’d work on the garden, piping water to the homes, and stairs. I hope somebody moves in and takes care of these homes.


Last Residents Hold On in Tunisian Underground Houses — 3 Comments

  1. A good idea ANYWHERE is to “throw away the TV”…

    Do these dwellings combat the dampness caused by groundwater ? Such dampness can lead to bronchial problems ?

    • This looks like a desert region so chances are the moisture problem is very minimal. That’s why they’ve lasted for centuries. In most places these dwellings would turn to ponds.

      I threw away my TV decades ago and have probably gained a million hours to my life.

  2. Gorgeous homes! Sad to see the population dwindling, but this is what happens the world over. I wonder how sparse the area is; the smaller the populations, the harder it is for those people to access health care, education, etc. because the resources aren’t placed there. Hopefully they can come to some sort of middle ground. I cringe at some forms of eco-tourism, but if it can be done respectfully, perhaps opening a few lodges there and offering desert tours or Bedouin camping, or something of the like could bring some jobs to the area.

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