Stranger coming to Djerba ,
commemorate the 5,000 Christians massacred by Dragut

The Notorious Scull Tower of Djerba

Djerba – Skull Pyramid at Tebah (recte Djerba, Tunisia) in Africa, The. In the background Borj El K’bir, the fort of Houmt Souk, the main place of Djerba. Figurines, partly with boat. Steel engraving by Johann Georg Martini (Rudolstadt, Thuringia, about 1785 – after 1842) after Thomas Allom (London 1804 – Barnes 1872). Inscribed: Gez. v. T. Allom. / Stahlstich v. I. G. Martini Rudolstadt 1838., otherwise as above. 5 × 6⅜ in (12.6 × 16.3 cm).

Skull Pyramid at Djerba in Africa

Both to stop the advance of the Ottomans under Suleiman the Magnificent in the northern and western Mediterranean Sea and to check the pest of piracy before North Africa supported by these Philip II of Spain had, with the participation of Genoa, Naples, Sicily, Florence, the Papal States, and the Maltese Knights, assembled a fleet which, however, suffered a crushing defeat in the Battle of Djerba in May 1560. The survivors, who had fled into the fort there, had to surrender after a siege of three months. Turgut Reis (Dragut) ordered them beheaded and the above pyramid built from the skulls at the entry of the harbor, which was removed only in 1848 under French pressure and the bones were buried on the Christian cemetery. Later the French erected at the place an obelisk as memorial to the massacre. For the Ottoman Empire the victory of Djerba marks the apex of its extension of power, and only 11 years later in the Battle of Lepanto the Ottoman predominance at sea could be broken.

“ (Allom) was a versatile, then very respected architect. His drawings mostly are perspectively and topographically accurate architectural pieces with historical accessories ”

(Stefan Muthesius, Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon II [1992], p. 550).

Offer no. 15,440 | EUR 55. (c. US$ 66.) + shipping

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