Palais des Raïs

Palais des Raïs information

adult/child DA20/DA10
Opening hours
10am-noon & 1-4.30pm Sun-Thu, 1-4.30pm Sat
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The palace is in fact a row of several large waterfront houses, joined up to form a single compound and now home to the Centre des Arts et de la Culture. Palace 18, the main building, was begun in 1750 and completed around 1798 by the Dey Mustapha Pacha, who used it as one of his residences. The French military occupied it for a while, after which it served as the American consulate, a school and a library before becoming the most successful restoration project in the city. The buildings are used as exhibition space for some excellent shows, but much of the pleasure and interest is in seeing inside a grand, Ottoman-period mansion. The rooms are rarely massive, occasionally elaborately decorated with tiles and painted ceilings, but there is a sense of grandeur about the compound and it is still possible to get a sense of the good life that might once have been lived in this place, helped by descriptions in English and French.