Kairouan, Tunisia: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Tunisia: Raiders of the Lost ArkKairouan: Cairo (1936)

Location

Kairouan was founded around 670. It is home to the Great Mosque of Sidi-Uqba, one of the most important religious monuments of Islam. Due to its long history as a centre of Islamic scholarship, Kairouan has always attracted large numbers of pilgrims from all over the world. In medieval times, the city was considered the fourth-holiest in Islam, after Mekka, Medina and Jerusalem.

The Great Mosque - Prayer Room

The Great Mosque - Prayer Room

The medina with its various mosques and network of winding streets and courtyard houses was declared a UNESCO site in 1988. Kairouan is home to about 185,000 people.

Street scene in Kairouan's medina.

Street scene in Kairouan's medina.

 

Key Scenes

Although Kairouan has a major role in the movie, featuring for just over 15 minutes, it faces one problem - on the big screen, the location is titled as Cairo: 1936.

Upon their arrival in 'Cairo'/Kariouan, Indy and Marion are welcomed by Salah and his family, before they take to the streets, not knowing that they are being observed by their opponents.

A German agent spots Indy and Marion (in red pants) on the street.

A German agent spots Indy and Marion (in red pants) on the street.

Our two protagonists are totally oblivious to the danger they are in. Marion: "How come you haven't found some nice girl to settle down with, raise eight or nine kids, like your friend Sallah?"

Indy: "Who says I haven't?" Marion (laughing): "I do. Dad had you figured a long time ago."

Indy: "Who says I haven't?" Marion (laughing): "I do. Dad had you figured a long time ago."

Marion: "He said you were a bum."

Indy: "Oh, he's being generous".

Marion: "The most gifted bum he ever trained. You know, he loved you like a son. Took a hell of a lot for you to alienate him."

Indy: "Not much, just you."

That's when the enemy attacks.

That's when the enemy attacks.

Although Indy manages to get away, Marion falls into the hands of the Nazis.

Many thanks to Colin Kenworthy for providing the location photographs.

Videos

Map

The scenes were all filmed in the old medina, which is also the main tourist area of Kairouan.

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