"Tunis - a mix of Europe and Africa" Tunis by aliante1981

Tunis Travel Guide: 349 reviews and 1,127 photos

The city remembered me of the European countries, but it has its oriental flavour. With the narrow and winding streets of the medina you are bound to feel you are in an oriental country... But the place has taken the best from many cultures: French grandeur, Andalusian window decorations, oriental atmosphere and cosy Italian suburbs where Sofia Loren was born.

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Tunis - capital and largest city of Tunisia, on the northern African coast, between the western and eastern basins of the Mediterranean Sea. Tunis was built at the end of the shallow Lake of Tunis, an inlet of the Gulf of Tunis, and is linked with its port, Halq al-Wadi, 6 miles (10 km) to the northeast.

Tunis was founded by the Libyans, who in the 9th century BC surrendered the site of Carthage to the Phoenicians from Tyre. In 146 BC, during the Third Punic War between Carthage and Rome, Tunis and Carthage were destroyed. The city flourished under Roman rule, but its importance dates chiefly from the Muslim conquest in the 7th century AD. It became the capital city under the Aghlabids (800?909) and reached its greatest prosperity under the Hafsid dynasty (1236?1574). The Holy Roman emperor Charles V took possession of it in 1535, and in 1539 the city passed into the hands of the Turks. It was retaken by the Spaniards, who held it from 1573 to 1574 but who were obliged to yield it to the Ottoman Empire, under which it remained until the French protectorate (1881?1956). Occupied by the Germans in 1942 and liberated by British forces and Allied troops in 1943, it became the national capital of Tunisia when independence was achieved in 1956.

Agriculture remains a major source of income. Olives and cereals are the principal crops grown, and olive oil and foodstuffs are processed. Manufactures include textiles and clothing, carpets, and cement and metal building structures. There are also chemical (superphosphate), metallurgical, machine, and electrical industries and railway workshops. There are several thermoelectric plants at Halq al-Wadi, and Maqrin has a lead smelter. Tourism is of particular economic importance. Al-Uwaynah International Airport and the International Airport of Tunis-Carthage are located northeast of the city.

Tunis has two cultural centres, as well as a theatre that is used by international theatre groups. The summer festival?the Festival of Carthage, held in July?has achieved a certain renown. Among the city's attractions are its thermal baths, dating from the time of Rome's Antonine emperors (who reigned in the 2nd century), the heights of Sidi-Bou Said, the exoticism of its markets (suqs), and the mosque of Az-Zaytunah (8th century),the oldest and most venerated monument in Tunis. The University of Tunis was founded in 1960. Southeast of the city, along the valley of the Wadi Milyan, are magnificent remains of the aqueduct built by the Romans to link Mount Zaghouan to Carthage. Pop. (1984) city (commune), 596,654; (1990 est.) metropolitan area, 1,479,000. This description comes from Britannica 2003

  • Last visit to Tunis: Jul 2001
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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