"Carthage" Tunisia Things to Do Tip by traveldave

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The city of Carthage was founded in about 750 B.C. by the Phoenicians, who called it Qart Hadasht, meaning "New City." The new city was founded to consolidate the Phoenician hold on North Africa, and was located at a strategic place on the Gulf of Tunis. By about the fifth century B.C., Carthage was the most powerful city in the western Mediterranean area, and was an archrival of Rome. After several attempts, Rome finally defeated Carthage in 146 B.C. The Romans almost completely destroyed Carthage, and built their own city on top of the ruins. The Roman city soon became the second most important city in the Roman Empire after Rome, and had between 200,000 and 700,000 inhabitants.

Nowadays, there is very little left of ancient Carthage for visitors to see, other than a few standing walls here and there. Most of the visible ruins are actually Roman. And the ruins are spread over a wide area, and are therefore not easy to see in a short period. There are six main archaeological sites, including Byrsa Hill, the Roman amphitheater, the Roman villas, the Antonine Baths, the Sanctuary of Tophic, and the Punic ports.

Pictured here are some of the ruins on Byrsa Hill. It is thought that Byrsa Hill was a district of temples and other religious structures. The National Museum of Carthage is located at the summit of Byrsa Hill, along with the nineteenth-century French Cathedral of Saint Louis. The museum has good exhibits about Carthage, and contains some interesting artifacts.

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  • Updated Aug 8, 2012
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