The Myth of Matmata, Tunisia

Matmata is a popular Berber village in Tunisia which is most famous for the Star Wars films which were filmed here. The main tourist attraction in this beautiful and unusual village is the home of Luke Skywalker, which is a hotel and still has many of the sets still in place. Those touring Tunisia might want to consider a trip to this small but interesting town.

Fans of the film along with thousands of Tunisian visitors descent on this village each year. The village is filled with underground homes that have been dug out offering residents cool summers and warm winters.

From a distance the village isn’t noticeable and only when you get closer you realize there is something there and this is where the myth comes in. Legend has it that the first underground home in Matmata was built as a way to protect residents from the Egyptian tribes who were sent to attack them. Building these hidden underground homes kept the residents safe at night as the village was hard to spot.

As the years went by, these homes remained, some were washed away by rain, but there are still residents who live in these fantastic underground structures today and are more than willing to give you a tour of their home at a price.

Each home is carefully dug out of the ground often with separate caves for each room linked by a passage. The advantage is the insulation these homes provide against the harsh weather conditions, the very hot summers and the colder winters.

The village was only discovered in the 1960’s when people realized that people were actually living here, that is how well the village was hidden. Protected from the elements and the people sent to attack them all those years ago, turned into a popular tourist attraction for visitors to get to enjoy a spectacular Tunisian holiday.

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