"Sufetula" Sbeitla by JLBG

Sbeitla Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 65 photos

Sbeitla, Sufetula as it was named is built on the edges of Central Tunisia steppes. It is one of the finest antiquity locations of Tunisia. The name of Sufetula is of Berber origin. As soon it was integrated in the Roman Empire it became a municipe, and later a colonia, which means it was fully integrated economically and culturally to the Roman world. When Christianization took over, it became a bishopry. After the Vandales period, it was ruled by the Byzantins that made it their capital. In 647 BC, it was taken by the Arab army of Abdallah Ibn Salah.

Contrary to Dougga, Sufetula is built on the classical Roman’s plan with straight streets. It has an impressive forum with three Temples, a Theater in good condition and an amphitheater poorly preserved, several churches (the Church of Bellator, the Church of Vitalis, the Church of Servus the Priest), several fountains, 2 Public baths (the Main Baths and the Small Baths) and Byzantine forts. A fine antiquity museum has now been created.

Although there is no inscription to indicate to whom they were dedicated, it is generally assumed that the Capitol was dedicated to the three divinities of the official Roman Pantheon, Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. Instead of building a single temple divided into three chapels or niches as, for example, one finds at Dougga, the builders at Sbeitla conceived a far more grandiose project for their town and built a temple for each divinity. Specialists outline this was only attempted once elsewhere, given the cost of the project. To give unity to the ensemble the central temple was fronted by a tribune without steps, and one acceded to the central temple through the two lateral temples; one can easily imagine the scared processions moving from each extremity of the forum and symmetrically converging on the central temple, which was more opulently decorated and adorned than the other two.

  • Intro Updated Feb 4, 2005
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Reviews (7)

Comments (8)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2010 at 5:11 AM

    I wonder what the condition of the forum is now days? Its still a beautiful piece of history. Lovely page!

  • Jun 16, 2009 at 3:03 AM

    i love historical places

  • Carmanah's Profile Photo
    Jul 17, 2007 at 2:42 PM

    Really beautiful photos - I love stumbling upon places around the world that are both rich in history and ancient architecture.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2005 at 8:32 AM

    The Temple to Jupiter and The Arch of Triumph to the Tetrarchy look impressive! Great shots!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Feb 27, 2005 at 3:25 AM

    Thanks for visiting my Marseille page. I enjoyed your Sbeitla photos & tips, especially the Antonine Gateway. Lori.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2005 at 3:07 PM

    Great information and photos Jean-Louis!! A very perceptive tip about how height above ground can preserve a delicate artwork for the Ages!! Amazing page!

  • BarbaraForza's Profile Photo
    Feb 4, 2005 at 11:09 PM

    I agree with Dee...amazing light in your pics! As always a good page!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jan 18, 2005 at 12:55 PM

    How fortunate for me...first to tell you how stunning the photographs are. The lighting is just fabulous. These are, indeed, gorgeous places. Good work.


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