A mosque and center of higher learning in Tunis since the early eighth century. When the Hafsid dynasty (1207–1534) came to power and made Tunis its capital, Zaytunah emerged as one of the most important Islamic institutions of higher learning in North Africa. In 1534 the Spaniards occupied Tunis, ransacked its libraries and mosques, and burned or removed many of its books and manuscripts. It was restored under the Muradids and the Husayids from 1631 to 1957. In 1965 its role as an independent educational institution was officially abolished; it became the school of theology and Islamic studies of the University of Tunis.