Located some 9 kilometres from Kairouan, Raqqada is well worth a visit. It contains vestiges from the Golden Age of Islam, coinciding with the Aghlabid era in Tunisia. In the middle of sumptuous gardens there was a town with hammams (public baths), mosques and palaces. Raqqada was however destroyed after the Hilalian invasion in the 11th century. It now shelters a university, a large equestrian centre and a museum of Islamic art. This museum bears witness to the splendour of the city.
The museum contains a large collection of Korans of superb calligraphy as well as manuscripts and documents belonging to the Library of the Great Mosque of Kairouan. One of the gems of this collection is an extract of the Koran on blue parchment written in golden ink, dating back to the 10th century. One of the rooms of the Museum contains a rich collection of gold and silver coins, pottery, and glassware.