JERBA

The island of Jerba is set to 3 km off the southern coast of Tunisia near the chief city of the south, Medenine. Jerba it is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on its north and east coast, by the Gulf of Gabs to the west, and the virtually land locked Grara Gulf in the south. The island has been linked to the main land by a causeway in the southeast corner for over 2,000 years. A ferry serves as access to the small port of Ajim, in the southwest.

Only 600 km2 (400 miles2), the island of measures 28 km (20 miles) north to south and 29 km (21 miles) east to west, with a maximum altitude of 55 metres (165 ft). The coast has a 130 km (88 miles) of beaches along its north, east and southern coastline, while the centre is given to a palm groves.

Jerba has a long history of independence and the architectural style, which is it unique to the rest of North Africa, stands testimony to this.

Houches (traditional Jerban houses) are found dotted about the island, generally near a well. With no real village centres they were laid out this way against the danger of attack by tribes from the mainland. Generally the houches are low stocky buildings with a single-story and striking white paint, covering all the outer walls. They resemble forts, organised around a menzel (a courtyard or common land), with a cistern for the collection of rainwater. They often have small towers - originally used to look out for marauding bands of tribesmen - which nowadays have been converted to mosques. Their other world appearance is what attracted Lucasfilm location scouts to the island in 1975. The Mos Eisley cantina exterior and the scenes of Anchorhead were all shot at Jerban menzels.

extract taken from Tataouine Tours: On Location
Sidi Jemour - ANH Mos Eisley outskirts and Toshi Station The Corniche - ANH Obi-Wan Kenobi's Hermitage Ajim - ANH Cantina & Mos Eisley streets

The Corniche - on a stretch of sandy road just outside Ajim, and overlooking the Gulf of Gabes is the small, isolated building that was used as Obi-Wan Kenobi's hermitage. Here Luke was first introduced to Force - but we couldn't find a hint of it...

Sidi Jemour - is an isolated shrine to a fourteenth century holyman. Set some 20 km along the coast from Ajim it was used both for Toshi Station (later cut from the final release) and the outskirts of Mos Eisley.

Ajim - this sponge port in the southwest corner of the island served as the location for several Mos Eisely scenes, including the Imperial checkpoint, exterior of the cantina and Mos Eisley main street.

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