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The architecture of Mahdia is unique, particularly in terms of the local residences. It is a mixture of Old World European architecture and newer African building styles. Visitors will find that walking around the city and just looking at the buildings can be a pleasant way to spend a day in Mahdia.
Local residences are small and generally simple. However, they are eye-catching because of their unique entrance ways. The doors of residences are highly detailed, with colorful tiles leading up to them and painted decorations adorning them. Although it is the colors that initially draw in the passerby’s eye, it is the ornate décor that keeps one’s attention on the buildings. Visitors are reminded to be respectful about approaching private property, but in general, the people of Mahdia do not mind if travelers approach their doorways to look at the architecture of their homes.
While travelers are looking at these doorways, they should take the time to notice that many of them have decorative fishes carved above them. Some of these have been painted over, so interested visitors should look carefully to see them. In the culture of Mahdia, this architectural decoration is intended to represent wealth and to bring financial luck to the home.
Those people in Mahdia who already have financial luck generally have houses which are larger and more ornate than standard residences. Many of these are found along the water and are lived in by the owners of ships docked there. A picture of one of these homes is available at http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/... . Travelers interested in local architecture may want to take the time to compare and contrast these buildings with the standard residences.