Dougga (Thugga)

Dougga is all that one dreams a Roman site should be. Grandiose temples and theatres, forum and markets stand in remarkable repair on a mountainside overlooking wheat fields and valley. Imposing Dougga spreads over 65 hectares,...

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Dougga is all that one dreams a Roman site should be. Grandiose temples and theatres, forum and markets stand in remarkable repair on a mountainside overlooking wheat fields and valley. Imposing Dougga spreads over 65 hectares, its position on the slopes forced Roman builders to renounce their standard city plan and adapt their monuments to the terrain.

Dougga was originally a fortified Berber village (the name Thugga meant "pastures"). Later, it served as the seat of the Numidian king Masinissa in the 2nd century BC. The Romans occupied the city in the late 2nd century BC.

The impressive Roman ruins of Dougga were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Dougga is widely recogniesd as one of the most beautiful Roman sites in Tunisia. At its height between 20 to 30,000 people would have lived here and their shops, stores and baths, latrines, wash room and gymnasiums are still evident, bringing the ruins to life. Stone streets bear the grooves of chariot wheels and in the silent, windswept afternoon one can almost hear their clatter. Dougga was a prosperous city even before the coming of the Romans.