El Ghriba Synagogue

    This is reputed to be the oldest synagogue in Africa, having operated for some 2,000 years. It is located in the town of Hara Seghira, a former Jewish community, and is said to have been built by Jews who migrated there after the destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem. Today, visitors will be shown a stone that has supposedly been brought from the rubble of that temple, and which was incorporated into the original synagogue. The synagogue houses scrolls that are believed to be one of the oldest Torahs in the world. It continues to be the center of Jewish cultural life on the island, with many of the area's Jews meeting there on the Sabbath. People also make pilgrimages here, although not as many as during its heyday. 

    On April 11, 2002, the synagogue was the victim of a terrorist attack when a truck full of explosives detonated nearby. 21 people were killed in the incident, including 14 Germans, 5 Tunisians, and 2 Frenchmen. The terrorist group Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack. It was the first attack by that group outside of Afghanistan since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    To reach the synagogue, take a taxi from Houmt Souk. Hara Seghira is on the southeastern outskirts of the capital. Non-Jews can enter the synagogue for a small donation and if the men wear the kippah.