Destination Tunis (Carthage) Destination Tunis (Carthage)

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Tunis is a mixture of Eastern and Western cultures. Its impressive historic centre (Medina) is a contrast to the new city (Ville Nouvelle). The city centre is the place to find a number of architectural marvels ranging from the Neo-Romanesque Cathedral of St Vincent de Paul to a Jugendstil theatre. But sightseeing doesn’t end in the city itself: be sure not to miss the ancient mysterious city of Carthage.

Right in the heart of Tunis is Tunisia’s largest and best preserved historic city centre: Medina. Not surprisingly, UNESCO has placed Medina on its World Heritage List. A maze of narrow streets is lined with tiny cafés and street vendors in their unique shops. A star attraction here is the Jemaa ez Zitouna (the Mosque of the Olive Tree) that towers to a height of 44 metres and was built in 732.

The name of this city was derived from Kart Hadasht which means ‘the new city’. These days, however, it’s not that new. It was in around 50 B.C. that the Romans filled this city with beautiful buildings, theatres, mansions and public baths. By placing this ancient city on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Carthage and its ruins barely escaped being bulldozed and replaced with a high-end residential district. Don’t miss it!

Bardo Museum
The archaeological Bardo Museum exhibits a rich piece of Tunisian history and is even accommodated in a dazzlingly beautiful historic palace. Featured here are impressive mosaics dating from 200 to 600 A.D. that were used to decorate amphitheatres, public baths and floors. Viewing them, it is easy to see why the Romans are considered to have made the most impressive mosaics of all time.

Ville Nouvelle
In sharp contrast to the historic Medina is the Ville Nouvelle: the new city. Running right through Tunis for 1.5 kilometres is Avenue Habib Bourguiba, the main thoroughfare that connects Medina with the sea. Among the beautiful buildings that line it are friendly little terraces and (for Tunisia) extensive shopping facilities.

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