Villa Yvonne – Tunis, Tunisia - Atlas Obscura

Villa Yvonne

A ghostly mansion in the middle of downtown Tunis. 


Downtown Tunis is a place where old palaces dominate the urban landscape. Some of these old palaces have been completely renovated and look smashing, while others lay in a state of semi-or complete abandonment. Villa Yvonne unmistakably belongs to the latter, but it stands out from the rest due to the richness of its architecture.

Built in 1909, Villa Yvonne is an outlandish example of Art Deco, prevalent in 20th-century Tunis. If information regarding this mansion exists, it is probably buried in archives that no one has touched for decades. It was possibly constructed by a wealthy Italian immigrant from Livorno. However, even this basic fact cannot be corroborated conclusively. 

It’s known, however, that the building was bought and sold several times during the 20th century. Undoubtedly, prospective buyers were able to appreciate the potential of this beautiful mansion. It could have been renovated and sold as an upmarket residence, or it may have been restructured to accommodate upscale stores, but, if these were the plans, they never came to fruition.

The fate of Villa Yvonne took a turn for the worse at the beginning of the 21st century when it was completely abandoned. The interior that has not yet collapsed is collapsing, making it extremely difficult and financially prohibitive to salvage. It made it onto the heritage preservation list but has yet to receive substantial protection. 

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April 9, 2024

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