Amphitheatre of El Jem

El Jem was no doubt a thriving Roman agricultural region producing both olive oil and wheat and the grandiose coliseum, second only in size to that of Rome itself, attests to its wealth. Arriving at this small city from Sousse ...

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El Jem was no doubt a thriving Roman agricultural region producing both olive oil and wheat and the grandiose coliseum, second only in size to that of Rome itself, attests to its wealth. Arriving at this small city from Sousse or Sfax, the sight of this amphitheatre rising in the distance like a Colossus is both wondrous and slightly strange as the present surroundings give no hint of its former importance.

Built around the year 200, it was the scene of those games and circuses, often cruel and bloody, provided by ancient Rome. Today, the cries of martyrs and beasts have been replaced by the haunting strains of a concerto or the precise beauty of a fugue as world famous orchestras and artists perform at the classical music festival held at the coliseum each summer.

El Jem has opened workshops where artists are re-discovering the art of mosaics and their creations are truly worthy of this site and its history. You can compare these artworks with those in the museum by the coliseum.

El Jem

Medina of Sousse

On the eastern coast of Tunisia, two hours from the capital Tunis lies Sousse, "the pearl of the Sahel”. The mildness of its climate, its calm and beautiful coast and the hospitality of its people has long captivated those who ...

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On the eastern coast of Tunisia, two hours from the capital Tunis lies Sousse, "the pearl of the Sahel”. The mildness of its climate, its calm and beautiful coast and the hospitality of its people has long captivated those who came to conquer. Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs settled in this lovely "fertile city" each leaving their imprint and heritage. No wonder modern day visitors from all over the world find themselves at home and return again and again.

The resort area of Sousse is perfectly integrated into the city and the visitor welcomed to participate in its exuberance. Proud of its heritage, museums and monuments are accessible and opened with pleasure to its guests and the Medina with its tiny colourful shops overflowing with silver jewellery, pure wool blankets, copper and carpets bustle with activity under the towering walls of the ribat.

Sfax

Sfax is 270km (168 miles) southeast of Tunis. The city, founded in AD 849 on the ruins of Taparura and Thaenae, is the capital of the Sfax governorate, and a Mediterranean port on the Gulf of Gabes. Sfax has population of 340,...

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Sfax is 270km (168 miles) southeast of Tunis. The city, founded in AD 849 on the ruins of Taparura and Thaenae, is the capital of the Sfax governorate, and a Mediterranean port on the Gulf of Gabes. Sfax has population of 340,000 (2005)[1], and is an industrial centre for processing phosphates. The city is often described as Tunisia's second city, because only Tunis has more inhabitants.


History

By the end of the 10th century Sfax had become an independent city state. The city was conquered by Roger of Sicily in 1148 and occupied until it was liberated in 1156 by local forces, and was briefly occupied by European forces again, this time by the Spanish, in the 16th century. Sfax became an integral base of the Barbary piracy, prompting an unsuccessful invasion by Venice in 1785. In the late 19th century Sfax and the rest of Tunisia were conquered by France and incorporated into the French empire. During World War II, the Axis powers used the city as a major base until they were defeated by British forces. After World War II, Tunisia was returned to France only to gain independence in 1956.

Archaeological Museum of Sousse

Sousse's excellent archaeological museum occupies the south of the kasbah, and holds one of the finest collection of mosaics in the country within its two courtyards and one room, as well as a resident mosaicist demonstrating t...

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Sousse's excellent archaeological museum occupies the south of the kasbah, and holds one of the finest collection of mosaics in the country within its two courtyards and one room, as well as a resident mosaicist demonstrating this painstaking work, and you can even have a go yourself! The other room houses various objects from Punic times.

(+216) 732190 11

Archaeological Museum of Sousse

Sousse's excellent archaeological museum occupies the south of the Kasbah and holds one of the finest collection of mosaics in the country within its two courtyards and one room.

It also has a resident mosaicist demonstrating t...

More Info >

Sousse's excellent archaeological museum occupies the south of the Kasbah and holds one of the finest collection of mosaics in the country within its two courtyards and one room.

It also has a resident mosaicist demonstrating this painstaking work, and you can even have a go yourself! The other room houses various objects from Punic times.

Ave du Maréchal Tito, Medina, Kasbah, Sousse

 

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