Two interesting sites from Tunis are
Sidi Bou Said and then Carthage. Sidi Bou Said is a lovely white and blue
village perched on a dramatic cliff over looking the Mediterranean and
Carthage is, well its Carthage, one of the greatest cities in the ancient
world. Today the World Heritage site ruins sit amid a wealthy suburb of
Tunis, but that actually makes it a fascinating place to wonder around.
Here you are walking through a classy neighborhood and then all of a sudden
you're looking at a Roman Amphitheater. Because the city was so large,
the ruins are very spread out, which gives you a good idea of the size
of the once-powerful city.
Historically, the city was first founded
by Phoenicians around 800 BC, or 2,800 years ago. The Romans took over
around 44 BC and Julius Caesar made it a provincial capital. Then the
Vandals, Byzantine, and Arabs took it over. So its amazing that there's
much of anything left to see. The mosaics at Brysa Hill and the ruins
of the Antoine Baths were some of my favorite sites.
This is the entrance to a cafe overlooking
the Mediterranean in Sidi Bou Said. The white and blue colors
of the town made it very picturesque
Typical street in Sidi Bou Said
Nice gates & doorways made for interesting
Dale and myself at a viewpoint. Love the colors
This is the top of Brysa Hill,
the heart of Carthage. In the background are the two Punic ports
which enable the city to grow so large and prosperous. The darker
shapes in the farther back are Malta and Italy.
Another shot of the ruins at Brysa. Originally
there was a temple to a Carthenian god here, then the Romans leveled
it for a capital & forum when they took over, then after the
fall of Rome it was leveled again. Most of the structures here
are from the first leveling, as the Romans did a pretty good job
of burying the old city.
This drawing indicates the size
and layout of the ancient city. Note the interesting shape and
design of the two harbors in front.
A row of countless mosaics found at Brysa
Hill. They had so many of them, these are just propped up against
a wall here, completely exposed and unattended.
Other visitors enjoying the view
of Brysa Hill
Here are some mosaics dating back to around
the 5th century. The hundred of mosaics here relate the wealth
and splendor that must have been found.
This is a close up of the face in the mosaic
to the left, intricate isn't it?
Roman statue in the museum at
Close up of the statue. Quite lovely isn't
The remains of the Antonine Baths. If you
look at the picture on the right, you will see Dale standing near
the arches in the foreground of this picture. Each arch was huge
and the complex itself was enormous. The drawing in the front
of this picture shows that the main facade was most likely 3x
the height of one of those arches.
Dale in the middle of the baths. If there
is one place I would like to be able to time travel back to in
Carthage, this is it.