The Archaeological Site of Carthage in Tunisia was added as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Carthage was founded as a Phoenician colony in the 9th Century B.C. on the gulf of modern Tunis. It was considered the capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization dominating the Mediterranean Sea. This colony was strategically constructed in the center of the Gulf of Tunis, offering both protection from enemies and easy access to Mediterranean trade routes.
The modern day Carthage is a wealthy suburb of Tunis. Carthage Palace (or Palace of the Republic) is the presidential palace of Tunisia and is located in this wealthy neighbourhood along with numerous international embassies.
What to See in Carthage
Although Roman Carthage was destroyed, many artifacts, sculptures and ruins have survived. Such remains include a theater, an amphitheater, baths, temples, a circus, a kiln, a cemetery, basilicas, an odeum (Roman roofed theater), remains of Roman houses, water cisterns, Roman aqueduct and more.
Perhaps the most popular Roman site in Carthage is the Antonine baths, which is the largest Roman bath outside of Rome. You will be able to walk through the ruins of this large Roman bath including the caldarium (hot room), a tepidarium (warm room), a frigidarium (cold room), and palestras and gymnasiums (enclosed room with mosaic floors for naked wrestling and other sports).
A Brief History of Tunisia
After the Romans defeated Carthage in 146 BC, they occupied Tunisia for almost 800 years and introduced Christianity. Architectural legacies such as the El Jem amphitheater can still be seen today. After several attempts starting in 647, the Arabs conquered the whole of Tunisia by 697, followed by the Ottomans between 1534 and 1574. The Ottomans dominated for over 300 years until the French conquest of Tunisia in 1881. Tunisia gained independence with Habib Bourguiba and declared the Tunisian Republic in 1957.
In 2011, the Tunisian Revolution resulted in the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, followed by parliamentary elections. The country voted for parliament again on October 26, 2014 and for President on November 23, 2014. Tunisia is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic and is considered to be the only full democracy in the Arab World.
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