The Capital of Tunisia
Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, is also the largest city in the country. The greater metropolitan area of Tunis which includes Tunis, Ariana, Mandouba and Ben Arous, has an estimated 2,700,000 inhabitants.
Tunis is an interesting mix of old and new. The old city is known as the medina and is recognized on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The new city known as “ville nouvelle” can be recognized by its many colonial French buildings and architectures.
The Medina of Tunis
The Medina of Tunis has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. This Medina quarter of Tunis contains about 700 monuments which includes palaces, mosques, mausoleums, madrasas (educational institutions) and fountains dating from the Almohad and the Hafsid periods.
The famous Zitouna Mosque located in the heart of the Tunis medina was built in 732 and then later rebuilt in 864. The Zitouna Mosque was once a significant place of culture and knowledge. Generally speaking, non-Muslims are not permitted to enter into mosques in North Africa. Tourists visiting the Zitouna Mosque are permitted to view the courtyard from behind a barrier.
Bab el Bhar
Bab el Bhar is the iconic city gate in Tunis which separates the Oriental part of Tunis including the Medina with the European part of the city. Bab el Bhar means “the sea gate” because of its close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. The gate is also often referred to as “Porte De France” (the gate of France). The gate is made up of a lowered archway and topped by a crenellated parapet.
Avenue Habib Bourguiba
The famous Avenue Habib Bourguiba is located in the new city (ville nouvelle) in Tunis. Originally named the “Promenade de la Marine“, it later changed its name in honour of Tunisia’s first president and national leader of the Tunisian independence. This avenue is 60 meters wide, with two parallel roads lined with hotels, street cafes, and numerous shops.
The Bardo Museum contains a vast collection of important mosaics from the Roman period. There are numerous rooms in this world-class institution offering artifacts from the Punic to Islamic period. This is one museum that you will not want to miss!
Carthage Archaeological Site
Located in the suburbs of Tunis, the ancient Carthage archaeological site once the largest ancient cities in northern Africa. This site holds ruins from many eras of history: the Punics, Romans, Vandals and Byzantines all made claim to this area at some point.
Tunis–Carthage International Airport
The Tunis–Carthage International Airport is the international airport of Tunis. This is the premier airport in the country and serves over one million passengers each year.
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