Muslim Spain, for 700 years the occidental frontier of Islam, gave birth to a complex and original mixed culture whose exquisite art and architecture bear witness to power and opulence, but also to restraint and faith.
In the rich variety of North African jewelry all the layers and distinctions of society are reflected in metal and stone. Men and women, married and unmarried, Berber and Arab - for each, there is an appropriate treasure.
"There is the truth of legends and there is the legend of truths," great-grandmother Mammati Fatma said, and Sidi Bou Said - simultaneously fishing village, tourist center and historical monument - is home to both.
Many Arab folk tales recorded even 130 years ago, from Morocco to Iraq, are still current in homes and teahouses, a Palestinian-American folklorist found - as well as in her own warm memories of home and family.
Blue doors, whitewashed houses and beautiful views of the sea - and of history - attract tourists and Tunisians alike to the cobbled streets and contemplative charms of Sidi Bou Said, still today "the seat of reconciliation."