Kairvan, Or El Kirwan Kairwan, a city of Tunis, Africa, 80 m. S. of the city of Tunis; pop. estimated at 15,000. It is situated on a height commanding a large sandy plain, and is surrounded by a crenellated wall having four gates. It is well built and contains many elegant structures, including numerous mosques and tombs of marabouts. The Akbar mosque is a magnificent edifice, covering nearly the whole of one of the quarters. Its roof is supported by 312 columns of marble, granite, and porphyry, of the Roman period. The town is badly supplied with water, the main dependence being a capacious open reservoir of Saracenic origin, called the cistern of Ibrahim ben Aglab, a polygon of 64 sides, each of six yards. Kairwan was founded by the Arabs about A. D. 670, and was from 802 to 970 the capital of their independent African dominions. It is regarded by the Mohammedans as the most holy city of Africa, and no Christian or Jewish merchant is permitted to take up his residence there. According to Arabian historians, its population was once 60,000. It is noted chiefly, in a commercial point of view, for the manufacture of yellow morocco boots and slippers.