Besides beautiful beaches and luxury hotels and restaurants, there are many fascinating museums to visit in Tunis. One of the finest and visited tourist destinations in the outskirts of the city is the Bardo National Museum. The complex includes several iconic buildings built during XIII – XIX century.
Bardo covers parts of the culture of prehistoric, Roman, early Christian and Islamic period in the history of Tunisia. Undoubtedly, the place is best known for its most exquisite collection of mosaics in the world. The creation of landscapes and multicolored mosaic images is an integral part of the culture of Tunisia. Here you can see the most beautiful sculptures and statues in the country.
The museum contains one of the richest ranges of artifacts from the prehistoric era. The exhibition consists of Roman section with large mosaics. Many of these mosaics are borrowed from nearby Carthage. The museum also has an exhibition of mosaics of the Christian era. The Muslim culture is depicted in the Islamic room museum and describes the daily life of a few centuries ago.
The UNESCO Islamic heritage awarded “The Palace of the Bey in Tunis” is also located in the Bardo National Museum. Note that in order to enjoy all the beauty of the exhibits, you need a few hours.
The National Museum of Carthage is located at the top of Birsa hill and displays objects removed from the archeological site. Filled with history, the artifacts help understand through the funeral rituals how did the Phoenicians and Romains lived in Carthage. Representative of the Punic era are the ceramics and amphorae. The sarcophagi are often decorated with carved figures and amulets symbols of the Egyptian divinity (Osiris, Anubis, Horus, Isis, etc.).
Two huge statues of Victory can be found in the amphitheater, inaugurated by the Romains. You can further on see more statues, sarcophagi, mosaics and oil lamps. The room with the amphorae deserves a peak. Their shapes and engravings indicate their content and the name of their creator. The Christian section displays several sarcophagi, burial instructions and ceramics illustrating the Old Testament. The museum also has a large collection of money. The museum’s gardens are full of ancient columns, pieces of statues and Punic steles.
Raqqada is the site of the second capital of the dynasty Aghlabides from the 19th century located about 10 kilometers southwest of Kairouan (Tunisia). The city is the home of the National Museum of Islamic Art. The museum specializes in medieval Islamic art and exhibits arts originating from Kairouan, Raqqada and Al-Mansuriya. The entrance is reserved for the Great Mosque of Kairouan and has a reproduction of his mihrab (semicircular niche in the mosque) and a model of the entire monument. Next is a large collection of ceramics from occupied Raqqada (9th and 10th century). There is also a numismatic collection showing the evolution of the trade relationships. One of the most magnificent exhibits is that of the calligraphic manuscripts of the Koran originally belonging to the library of the Great Mosque of Kairouan.
If you would like to learn more about museums to visit in Tunis, please contact one of our travel experts at Mosaic North Africa.