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Tunisia

Tunisia: holidays, events, climate

Public holidays

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
January 18 Revolution day
February Aid el Kebir (big mutton festival)
February March Rais el Am (Islamic New Year Festival)
March, 20 independence Day
9th April Day of the Martyrs
1st of May Labor Day
May 15 Le Mouled (Prophet's Birthday)
June 1 National holiday
2th of June Youth day
July 25 day of the Republic
13 August Womens day
November 7 Day of renewal
November Aid es Seghir (end of Ramadan)

Source: Countryaah - Tunisia Holidays

Tunisia Holidays

The dates for the Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift every year. During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes the festival of Aid es Seghir, Muslims do not eat during the day, but only after sunset. Many restaurants are therefore closed during the day. The Aid el Kebir and Aid es Seghir festivals last 2-10 days, depending on the region. In addition, there are local festivals in Tunisia such as the moussems, pilgrimages to the graves of saints (marabouts) and various peasant festivals on the occasion of e.g. B. the date pollination and olive harvest, after which a large market usually takes place. For example, every year in May there is the Lag Bomer pilgrimage to La Griba on Djerba.

The most important family celebrations include the wedding (Aars), which is celebrated as a multi-day festival with music and dance, the separate parades of the bride and groom through the village and a magnificent feast after the marriage, also the Islamic circumcision (khitan) of the seven year old boy.

Cultural events

The following events take place annually in Tunisia:

  • May

    Festival of the Sparrow Hawk in El Haouaria

  • July/August

    International Carthage Festival in Tunis

  • July/August

    International Festival of Hammamet (Festival of Artists)

  • July/August

    Folklore Festival d'Ulysse on Djerba

  • September

    Coralis Festival (underwater photography) in Tabarka

  • November

    Festival of the oases (camel races) in Tozeur

  • November

    Sahara Duoz Festival (desert folklore)

  • December

    Festival de Douz in the oasis of the same name. (Similar events are held in Nefta, Tataouine and Gabès.

Tunisia: climate

Tunisia has two different climate zones. The climate on the Mediterranean coast in the north of the country and the climate in the south in the desert.

Climate on the Mediterranean coast

On the Mediterranean coast, the summers are cooler and the winters more humid. Here the daytime temperatures in the summer months remain at 29 - 33 °C during the day. At night, temperatures do not drop below 16 °C. In winter, the daily temperatures remain at 16-18 °C and at night at 7-9 °C. There can even be snow on the plateau in winter. Most of the precipitation falls in winter. The whole year around 500 - 1,000 mm of precipitation fall, on the plateau even up to 1,500 mm. The humidity remains relatively constant at 70 - 80%.

Desert climate

In the desert, the temperatures are significantly higher. The summer daytime temperatures are around 30 - 40 °C and the nighttime temperatures are around 20 - 23 °C. In winter, temperatures drop to around 17 ° C during the day and 7 - 10 °C at night. The rainfall in the south of the country is significantly lower than on the Mediterranean coast. Every year around 200 mm of precipitation falls here.

National customs

Trading

In the Arab world, trading plays a major role in buying. A guideline for a real price is about one third to one half of the originally asked price. Therefore one should undercut the usually excessively inflated first price demand of the seller accordingly. However, haggling without the intention to buy is considered an insult to the trading partner.

Clothing

For guests in an Islamic country, consideration for the local customs is required. Women in particular should pay attention to decent clothing. Beach clothing outside the bathing zone is taboo, and long pants are also recommended for men outside the hotel zones.

Taking photos

Taking photos of locals without their permission must be avoided at all costs, as the image of people is traditionally a taboo in Islamic countries.

Ramadan and alcohol

During the fasting month of Ramadan it is better to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public. The sale and serving of alcohol except in the tourist hotels and restaurants is prohibited on Fridays and Ramadan. Drunkenness in public is strictly frowned upon in all Islamic countries, alcohol should only be consumed in public where it is served. It would also be grossly impolite to encourage a local to drink.

Mosques and madrasahs

In addition, non-Muslims are generally prohibited from entering mosques and madrasas in which the Friday sermon is still being held.

Homosexuality

Homosexuality should definitely not be openly lived out in Tunisia. Reports of attacks (including by police officers) and discrimination against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity are frequent. Homosexuality is even a criminal offense in the country. Sexual acts between same-sex partners can be jailed for up to three years in Tunisia.

Tunisia: Sightseeings

Tunisia's history goes back a long way to Roman times. Let us only remember the long wars with Rome that began in 146 BC. in the course of the third Punic War with the destruction of Carthage by Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus minor Numantinus (185 BC - 129 BC).

Medina of Tunis

Tunis is located in the north of the country not far from the Mediterranean. Tunis was founded by the Arabs in the 8th century. Berbers, Arabs, Turks and Spanish Muslims lived peacefully side by side in the old town of Tunis.

On the outside traces that Jewish traders and Christian sailors drove through trading with the residents of Tunis can also be found remnants of old Carthage. B. the pillars of the prayer hall. In the 12th to 16th centuries, Tunis was considered one of the largest and richest cities in the Islamic world.

In Tunis there are still numerous old palaces, the Zitouna Mosque, many other mosques and mausoleums, markets under arcades that were planned and built in the past. Medina is the largest and best-preserved old town in North Africa. The Tunis medina was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list of Ichkeul National Park in 1979

The Ichkeul National Park has an area of 12,600 = 126 km² ha and is located in northern Tunisia, the nearest town is Bizerta, 25 km away. It is a wetland and is under the protection of the Ramsar Convention. For a long time it was feared that the area would become too salty, but the problem has probably been solved, as it was removed from the Red List of World Heritage Sites in 2006. Many birds nest and breed in the park and it is the resting place for the ducks, geese, storks and flamingos arriving from Europe at the beginning of winter. The national park was established in 1980 primarily to protect endangered bird life and in the same year was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List

Punic city of Kerkuan and its necropolis

The excavation site of Kerkouane is probably the only surviving Punic city - it is located on the Tunisian peninsula. It has an area of about 9 hectares and was densely built. The houses had a courtyard that was the center of each room, and stairs led to the upper floors. The houses were built with precisely hewn stones between which coarse stones were placed. The houses had bathtubs and mosaic floors. The city was protected by a wall. The Punic City of Kerkuan and its Necropolis were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985 and the heritage was expanded in 1986

Ruins of the ancient city of Dougga/Thugga

Dougga called Thugga in earlier times, is located in the northern part of Tunisia - about 100 km southwest of Tunis near the city of Teboursouk. The city is a former bishopric and one of the most magnificent Roman ruins in North Africa. The excavations made the resettlement of Douggas necessary. The ruins of what was originally built by the Numidians in the 4th century BC BC founded city can be visited. There you will find a Roman theater with 2,500 seats, thermal baths and the triumphal arch, and the ruins of a Christian church can also be found there. The world cultural heritage includes a theater built in 188 AD, the Capitol from 166 AD and the Temple of Saturn. The ruins were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.

Carthage ruins

The old Carthage was in the immediate vicinity of today's Tunis. The city was probably founded towards the end of the eighth century BC. Founded by Phoenician settlers from Tire in what is now Lebanon. In reference to the Poenicians, the Romans called the residents Punians. But something more poetic is the founding of the city by the Roman historian Junianus Justinus (2nd or 3rd century AD) by "Elissa" - called "Dido" in Roman - the daughter of the Phoenician king Mutto. While fleeing from her brother Pygmalion, she is said to have reached the Gulf of Tunis.

The local ruler there promised her as much land as she could encompass with a cow skin. Then she cut the cowhide into numerous thin strips, which, when placed next to one another, spanned a large piece of land. According to tradition, this piece of land was the nucleus of Carthage. After the founding of Carthage, Elissa is said to have burned herself at the stake in order to grant the new city happiness and prosperity for the future through her sacrificial death. On the southern slope of the Byrsa hill, on which the Saint-Louis Cathedral stands today, a building dating from the 2nd century BC was built. A Punic residential area dating back to BC. It was located under the Roman city.

The houses usually had several floors and a comprehensive water supply system was found. Sacrificial sites were also found in which sacrifices were made to the sun god Baal and the moon goddess. However, after centuries of prosperity, the "world power" Carthage became in the course of the 3rd Punic War in 146 BC. Razed to the ground by the Romans. Anyone who had learned Latin in their school days will remember the world-famous saying of Cato the Elder, which he uttered at the end of each of his speeches in the Senate: "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" (Incidentally, I am of the opinion that Carthage must be destroyed).

The city was partially rebuilt later under Julius Caresar and Emperor Augustus and also regained power and prestige. Carthage was then attacked by the Arabs in 698, captured and destroyed again. After that the remains of the city served as a "quarry" for buildings in Tunis, Kairouan or Sousse, among others. The later excavated ruins of Carthage were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.

Cities and special places

Bizerte

Bizerte has around 120,000 residents and is located in the north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. The many old house portals in the old town are worth seeing.

Douz

The place is the center of the partly still semi-nomadic Marazig tribe. In the residential areas around the market square, several old houses with the characteristic barrel vaults have been preserved.

Carthage

Carthage is now a suburb of Tunis with rich archaeological excavations and on the other hand the seat of rich Tunisians and the presidential palace. For the history of the city see above.

Today Carthage is the noble villa suburb on the coast of Tunis. Once the city had a significant supremacy in the region; the myth of Carthage was however in 146 BC. Burned down. The most famous Carthaginian of all time was the charismatic general Hannibal, who is as legendary as the place itself: Hannibal succeeded in the year 218 BC. To cross the French Alps with his war elephants in order to penetrate into Roman terrain; all other routes were blocked by Roman positions.

Today Carthage is home to exclusive restaurants and hotels, embassies, the presidential palace and the huge estates of the Tunisian upper class.

The archaeological finds are rather meager and the individual ruins are far apart, but a day trip to Carthage is definitely worthwhile. Particularly worth seeing are the Antonius Thermen and the Archaeological Park, the Roman villas, the Roman theater as well as the amphitheater and the city's landmark, the St. Louis Cathedral.

La Goulette

La Goulette is a suburb of Tunis and has about 40,000 residents. The place is home to the largest port in Tunisia, where cruise ships and European ferries dock. La Goulette achieved this enormous importance through the increasing silting up of the ports of Ghar el Mhel and the Lac de Tunis, so that these ports could no longer be called by larger ships. An 8 km long dam through Lake Tunis connects La Goulette with the capital.

La Marsa and Gammarth

These two coastal suburbs of Tunis merge and form the region's recreational area with their endless sandy beaches. As a tourist area, the places as well as their restaurants and hotels are quite expensive due to their proximity to the capital. But you can also stay in a youth hostel, which is almost directly on the beach of La Marsa. There is a TGM connection from Tunis to this point. The water is very clean and turquoise blue on the wide sandy beaches, there are also plenty of water sports and the spacious area offers enough space for private beaches and vacationers.

Monastir

Monastir has about 72,000 residents and is located in the south of the Gulf of Hammamet on the Mediterranean Sea. In particular the old town of Monastir should definitely be visited.

Sidi Bou Said

This picturesque mountain village is located above the sea on Cap Catharge in the immediate vicinity of Carthage, from Tunis it is about 20 km away. Sidi Bou Said fascinates with its white, Andalusian houses and narrow streets, but above all with the indescribable view over the Gulf of Tunis. Up here there was a fortified monastery as early as the 9th century, today there is a lighthouse in the same place. The bright white place has the Andalusian character due to the effects of the Spanish Reconquist: In the 16th century, many Moorish refugees from Spain came here.

Sousse

Sousse has around 550,000 residents, making it the fourth largest city in Tunisia. The port city is located in the north-west of the country on the Mediterranean coast. The old town is enclosed by the 2.25 km long stone city wall, which was built between 859 and 874 and of which three gates are still preserved.

Tunis

Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, has around 2.4 million residents and is located in the north of the country. One of the most important sights of the city is the Medina (old town) of Tunis. The largest in its extension and at the same time next to that of Kairouan best preserved old town in the country was built in the 9th/10th. Created by the Aghlabids and rebuilt by the Hafsids from the 13th century.

The Turks added a number of buildings, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries. The total of around 700 historically significant buildings in the old town appear mostly inconspicuous from the outside and are not accessible. Also well worth seeing in Tunis is the villa suburb of Bardo, created around a palace district founded by the Hafsids in 1420, which was greatly expanded by the Turkish Beys, especially in the 19th century.

Special structures

Aghlabid Basin in Kairouan

The water reservoir is an engineering achievement from the 9th century.

Bab el Bhar or Porte de France in Tunis

The name of this preserved city gate translates as "sea gate", which is due to the fact that the lake of Tunis used to reach up to the walls of the medina. It stands on the Place de la Victoire and is the transition between the new town and the labyrinth of the medina.

Café des Nattes in Sidi Bou Said

The famous, typically Moorish coffee house with its original furnishings served August Macke as a motif for a painting.

Dar el Bey in Tunis

The former guest palace was built at the beginning of the 19th century. From 1876 the Beys of Tunis resided in this magnificent building; Today the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister have their seat here.

Congress Palace in Monastir

The building contains the national library and a theater.

Zaouia Sidi Mahrez in Tunis

This tomb opposite the mosque of the same name is a popular place of pilgrimage. The inner courtyard with its numerous columns can be visited, but the tomb with the sarcophagus of the holy patron saint is not accessible to non-Muslims.

Medresen in the souk district in Tunis

Numerous schools, "Medresen", are in the souk quarter. The Medersa el Mouradia from 1673 with a beautiful inner courtyard and three in the Rue des Libraires: the Medersa en Nakhla, the Medersa Bacchia as a training center for goldsmiths and the Medersa Slimane, a paramedical training center.

Ancient buildings

Antoninus Pius thermal baths in Carthage/Tunis

The formerly largest thermal baths outside Rome (17,850 m²) were built in the years 146 to 162. Large parts of the ground floor and a repositioned 20 m high column have been preserved.

Bulla Regia near Tabarka

There are several sights from Roman, early Christian and Byzantine times.

Catacombs in Sousse

The vaults date from the 2nd century.

Roman ruins in El Djem

In addition to 30 Roman villas, two amphitheaters were excavated in the place. The Coliseum of El Djem is the third largest Roman theater in Tunisia and is very well preserved. It was built at the beginning of the 3rd century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Roman dam on Djerba

The island is connected to the mainland by a 7 km long and 10 m wide dam, which dates back to the Roman, possibly even the Punic period and was restored after the Second World War.

In 1974 UNESCO launched an international rescue operation for the remains of the former capital of the Carthaginian empire. For more details see above under.

Tophet (Sanctuaire Punique) in Carthage/Tunis

Since the excavation of the Carthage burial ground, which began in 1922, twelve layers of graves have been uncovered. BC to the early Christian period. Over 1,500 inscribed steles decorated with reliefs and around 200 urns were discovered, which can now be seen in the Bardo Museum.

Museums

Archaeological Museum of El Djem

The collection of Roman mosaics is particularly worth seeing.

Archaeological Museum of Sousse

Located on the ground floor of the Kasbah, the second most important museum in the country is equipped with a rich collection of Punic, Roman and early Christian finds, especially mosaics from the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

Bardo Museum in Tunis

The Le Bardo district was laid out 4 km west of the city center by the Hafsids, and the Turks eventually expanded it into a palace district. In the 19th century, the Bardo Palace was built, where Mohammed II had his private residence. The parliament of Tunisia is now located in the main wing; The National Museum was set up in the rooms of the former harem. The premises with stucco and gold decorations, marble stairs, domes and pillars are breathtaking. In addition to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Bardo Museum is the most important archaeological museum in North Africa. It is divided into prehistoric, Punic-Carthaginian, Roman, early Christian and Islamic sections.

Islamic Mueum in Tunis

The Archaeological Museum is located in the Hussein Palace, built in 1830, and is connected to the Bardo Museum. You can visit a former harem room and several ceramic halls.

Dar Ben Abdallah

Museum This impressive museum is housed in an 18th century palace and houses traditional furniture, vestments and kitchen utensils. In addition, various scenes from the life of the Tunisian population are recreated.

National Museum of Carthage

The museum is located in Carthage, which is now a suburb of Tunis.

Museum for Islamic Handicrafts in Monastir

Located in the former prayer room of the Ribat, this small museum shows coins from the 11th and 12th centuries as well as beautifully designed Koran manuscripts from the 8th-12th centuries. Century.

Fortresses

Bordj el Kebir Fortress (also Bordj en Ras) in Mahdia

On the highest point of the peninsula, the building, which has now been restored, was built at the beginning of the 16th century on the foundations of the Fatimid Palace of the Heir to the Throne and expanded in 1595 by the Turks.

Kasbah of Sousse

The fortress was built in 859 over the remains of a Byzantine castle. In addition to the main entrance, the 30 m high, three-storey Khalef el Fatah tower, one of the oldest Islamic towers, has been preserved from the original building. The Archaeological Museum is located on the ground floor.

Ribat von Monastir

The original construction of this monastery fortress dates from the years 796/97. It contains, among other things, a women's prayer room, which is unique for Ribat, as well as a three-storey round tower (Nador) from the year 796. "Incidentally, Ribat is the Arabic name for fortresses on the borders of the Islamic area for carrying out jihad Protection from enemies.

Ribat of Sousse

A striking tower is the landmark of this architecturally important monastery fortress, which was founded in the 8th century and expanded in the 9th century.

Sidi Bou Said

The listed popular tourist destination was founded in the 9th century as a Ribat (fortified monastery) and got its name from the Sufi order of Sidi Bou Said, who ruled there in the 13th century. In the middle of the 16th century it was settled by refugees from Andalusia and transformed into a picturesque Andalusian village. In the 18th century the Turks built numerous villas and palaces in the place, which from the turn of the century, around 1900, became known as an international meeting place for artists, including August Macke and Paul Klee.

Torburg Skifa el Kahla (Dark Courtyard) in Mahdia

The building was built in 1554 on foundations from the 12th century. With its up to 10.8 m thick walls and the 44 m long doorway, it made the only access to land and thus this itself impregnable.

Mosques

Bourguiba Mausoleum of Monastir

The burial mosque for the presidential family was built in 1963 using Italian marble.

Great Mosque of Bizerte

The building with its octagonal minaret dates from the 17th century.

Great Mosque (Mosquée Obeidite) of Mahdia

Between 1961 and 1965, the original building from 916-21, which was the first Fatimid mosque in the country and was built according to the scheme of the Kairouan Sidi Oqba, was reconstructed according to original plans.

Great mosque: Djamaa ez-Zitouna (olive-tree mosque) of Tunis

This mosque, built by the Aghlabids at the end of the 9th century, is the second largest in the country after numerous extensions and of great importance for the faithful. It includes the third largest Islamic educational institution and other university faculties. Non-Muslims can only visit a small part of the inner courtyard, the magnificent, 15-aisled prayer room unfortunately remains closed to them.

Kasbah Mosque in Tunis

The Kasbah Mosque was built by the Hafsids in the 13th century and survived the demolition of the Kasbah. It has a square minaret set apart from the prayer room. On its top there is a lantern attachment with four golden balls.

Mosque of Sousse

The building was built around 850 under the Aghlabids.

Sidi Ogba Mosque of Kairouan

It is the oldest mosque in the Maghreb. The prayer room is supported by countless Roman, Byzantine and Arabic columns. The carved wooden pulpit and minaret date from the 9th century.

Churches and synagogues

French Cathedral of Tunis

Avenue Habib Bourguiba

In 1882, during the time of the French Protectorate, this sacred building was built.

Christian Church of Tunis

This building was the first Christian church in Tunis from 1662, but today a municipal authority has its seat here.

El Ghriba Synagogue near Houmt Souk on Djerba

It is one of the oldest and most famous synagogues in the world. On April 11, 2002, several tourists were killed or injured in an attack here.

Berber culture

Berber houses in Ksar Douirat

Berber settlement in the Ksar Guermessa

There are reliefs and huge storage jugs in the walls of the caves.

Matmata and other Berber villages

The settlements mainly consist of hollows dug into the ground.

Natural beauties

Belvédère Park in Tunis

This 100 hectare park is located in the north of the new town. The Tunisian population spends a large part of their weekends here. There is a lake within the park where you can also take boat trips. In the middle lies a small island covered with trees. In Belvédère Park you will also find the excellent Tunis Zoological Garden (see below). Behind the zoo rises the approximately 80 m high Belvédère hill, from which one has a beautiful view over the city and the gulf. Halfway up there is a restored pavilion, and at the top is a vegetated roundabout.

Chott el Jerid

The largest salt lake area of the Sahara extends with its continuations Chott el Fedjadj and Sebkhet el Hamma in a tertiary rift valley on the southern edge of the Atlas over an area of about 7,700 km². It consists mainly of brown salty mud, but also of thick white-bluish salt crusts, some of which form wonderful crystal formations. While the Chott almost dries up in summer, larger saltwater pools or meter-deep salt marshes often arise in spring. At the freshwater sources of fossil origin, beautiful salt crystal formations form, here also so-called sand roses, gypsum efflorescence in cross-layered crystallization plates. In summer, when the sun is high, mirages appear.

Djabal Abyadh

Djabal Abyadh, the "White Mountains"

Gabes

Gabes is the largest marine oasis in North Africa.

Grand Erg Oriental

The Grand Erg Oriental is a large sand lake in the eastern Sahara.

Crocodile farm on Djerba

The largest crocodile farm in North Africa was set up recently.

Parc Habib Thameur in Tunis

This park is located north of Av. Habib Bourguiba and is much smaller than the Belvédère Park. Here, too, you can relax from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Tunis

Zoological Garden The Tunis Zoological Garden is the main attraction of Belvédère Park. In 1968 a German architect from Cologne built this zoo, which is one of the most beautiful in all of North Africa. Exotic plants grow here and the animal species that live here are diverse: there are elephants, camels, monkeys, bears, rhinos, big cats, waders, gazelles, antelopes and many more. Tue - Sun: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; during Ramadan only 9 a.m. - 2.30 p.m.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Amphitheater of El-Djem

The city of El-Djem is located in the middle of Tunisia in the Mahdia governorate, it was built on the ruins of the ancient city of Thysdrus.

The amphitheater was built in 238 AD by the city's olive oil producers for around 35,000 people based on the Roman model. But it never lived up to its regulations because the residents of El Jem barricaded themselves there from the Roman tax collectors. The Romans then tore down parts of the theater.

The amphitheater is well preserved and you can still see dungeon cells and pits for lions there. The El Djem amphitheater was added to the World Heritage List in 1979.

Medina of Kairouan (Qairawan)

The city of Kairouan is located in the middle of Tunisia. It has been declared a holy city.

White domes mark the city. The most important attraction of Kairouan is the Sidi Oqba Mosque, it is one of the oldest mosques in the world. It has a very special architecture, namely its impressive courtyard, which is lined with arcades and an impressive minaret. Its founding date is probably the year 703. But a mosque is said to have stood at this point as early as 670 next to the camp of the Muslim army. The mosque is named after the founder of the city Uqba ibn Nafi (Oqba), who had the title "Sidi", the North Arabic variant for Sayyid.

The Kairouan Medina was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988.

Medina of Sousse

Sousse is a port city on the Mediterranean Sea - southeast of the peninsula on the Gulf of Hammamet. The city was formerly called Hadrumet and was founded by the Phoenicians in the 9th century.

From there Hannibal commanded the 2nd Punic War against the Romans. Hadrumet was also later a bishopric. The city received different names over the centuries - among the Vandals it was called Hunericopolis, then Justinianopolis, then Susa.

In 647 the Arabs attacked the city and it was destroyed. In the 9th century the city was rebuilt and a fortress secured it against attacks by Christians. You can still see the city wall and mosques. Ships were sent from the port of Sousse to Sicily to conquer. Many peoples occupy Sousse and it completely lost its meaning over time.

The Sousse Medina was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988.

Medina of Tunis

Tunis is located in the north of the country not far from the Mediterranean. Tunis was founded by the Arabs in the 8th century. Berbers, Arabs, Turks and Spanish Muslims lived peacefully side by side in the old town of Tunis.

On the outside traces that Jewish traders and Christian sailors drove through trading with the residents of Tunis can also be found remnants of old Carthage. B. the pillars of the prayer hall. In the 12th to 16th centuries, Tunis was considered one of the largest and richest cities in the Islamic world.

In Tunis there are still numerous old palaces, the Zitouna Mosque, many other mosques and mausoleums, markets under arcades that were planned and built in the past. Medina is the largest and best-preserved old town in North Africa. The Tunis medina was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979

Ichkeul National Park The Ichkeul

National Park has an area of 12,600 = 126 km² ha and is located in northern Tunisia, the nearest town is Bizerta, 25 km away. It is a wetland and is under the protection of the Ramsar Convention. For a long time it was feared that the area would become too salty, but the problem has probably been solved, as it was removed from the Red List of World Heritage Sites in 2006. Many birds nest and breed in the park and it is the resting place for the ducks, geese, storks and flamingos arriving from Europe at the beginning of winter. The national park was established in 1980 primarily to protect endangered bird life and was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in the same year

Punic city of Kerkuan and its necropolis

The excavation site of Kerkouane is probably the only surviving Punic city - it is located on the Tunisian peninsula. It has an area of about 9 hectares and was densely built. The houses had a courtyard that was the center of each room, and stairs led to the upper floors. The houses were built with precisely hewn stones between which coarse stones were placed. The houses had bathtubs and mosaic floors. The city was protected by a wall. The Punic City of Kerkuan and its Necropolis were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985 and the heritage was expanded in 1986

Ruins of the ancient city of Dougga/Thugga

Dougga called Thugga in earlier times, is located in the northern part of Tunisia - about 100 km southwest of Tunis near the city of Teboursouk. The city is a former bishopric and one of the most magnificent Roman ruins in North Africa. The excavations made the resettlement of Douggas necessary. The ruins of what was originally built by the Numidians in the 4th century BC BC founded city can be visited. There you will find a Roman theater with 2,500 seats, thermal baths and the triumphal arch, and the ruins of a Christian church can also be found there. The world cultural heritage includes a theater built in 188 AD, the Capitol from 166 AD and the Temple of Saturn. The ruins were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.

Carthage ruins

The old Carthage was in the immediate vicinity of today's Tunis. The city was probably founded towards the end of the eighth century BC. Founded by Phoenician settlers from Tire in what is now Lebanon. In reference to the Poenicians, the Romans called the residents Punians. But something more poetic is the founding of the city by the Roman historian Junianus Justinus (2nd or 3rd century AD) by "Elissa" - called "Dido" in Roman - the daughter of the Phoenician king Mutto. While fleeing from her brother Pygmalion, she is said to have reached the Gulf of Tunis.

The local ruler there promised her as much land as she could encompass with a cow skin. Then she cut the cowhide into numerous thin strips, which, when placed next to one another, spanned a large piece of land. According to tradition, this piece of land was the nucleus of Carthage. After the founding of Carthage, Elissa is said to have burned herself at the stake in order to grant the new city happiness and prosperity for the future through her sacrificial death. On the southern slope of the Byrsa hill, on which the Saint-Louis Cathedral stands today, a building dating from the 2nd century BC was built. A Punic residential area dating back to BC. It was located under the Roman city.

The houses usually had several floors and a comprehensive water supply system was found. Sacrificial sites were also found in which sacrifices were made to the sun god Baal and the moon goddess. However, after centuries of prosperity, the "world power" Carthage became in the course of the 3rd Punic War in 146 BC. Razed to the ground by the Romans. Anyone who had learned Latin in their school days will remember the world-famous saying of Cato the Elder, which he uttered at the end of each of his speeches in the Senate: "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" (Incidentally, I am of the opinion that Carthage must be destroyed). The city was partially rebuilt later under Julius Caresar and Emperor Augustus and also regained power and prestige. Carthage was then attacked by the Arabs in 698, captured and destroyed again. After that, the remains of the city served as a "quarry" for buildings in Tunis, Kairouan and Sousse, among others. The later excavated ruins of Carthage were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.

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