Saint-Felix Church of Schuiggu - Atlas Obscura

Saint-Felix Church of Schuiggu

Chouigui, Tunisia

This 19th-century church was built for Sicilian immigrants, survived World War II, and today stands on a landfill. 


In a tiny town in northern Tunisia sits the forgotten 19th-century church: Saint-Felix Church of Schuiggui. The abandoned church was built while the North African country was part of the French protectorate. Built in 1898, the church is located at the top of a hill overlooking the small village of Chouigui and surrounding farmland. 

In the 19th century, these farms belonged to a single estate. Saint-Felix Church was built for the many Sicilian immigrants who found work on the estate. After the church was built, a priest was installed in the Roman Catholic church. In 1902, the priest departed, marking the end of regular religious services held at Saint-Felix Church.

In 1930, the large estate was sold to the Tunisian government, except for one acre of land surrounding Saint-Felix Church. This plot of land was donated to Catholic religious authorities to preserve the church. Even though no regular services were held at the church, the building remained intact until the end of 1942, when World War II fighting extended to Tunisia.  Violent clashes between Germany and British and American forces took place throughout the region, and Saint-Felix Church suffered looting and damage. 

After the end of World War II, Tunisia was in turmoil. During this period, Saint-Felix was restored to its original design. 

In 1956, Tunisia gained full independence from France, and in 1964, the Tunisian government signed the Modus Vivendi agreement with the Vatican, according to which the property of most churches in Tunisia passed to the government. Saint-Felix Church was one of these churches. It has been abandoned ever since.

A 1904 photograph of Saint-Felix shows the church at the end of two lines of trees. The trees are no longer there, and the immediate area around the church is now a landfill.  The roof is gone, and so are all the interior decorations, but the building is still standing. 

Community Contributors
Added by

March 7, 2024

Make an Edit Add Photos
In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web