history and archaeology
Although Tunisia is best known today for its beach resort holidays, the country has an amazing heritage with some exceptional archaelogical remains to be explored.
Little remains of Carthage, but what does is well presented and an absolute must see for every visitor to Tunisia. This great city of the Pheonician and Punic periods dates from the 6th century BC and was the base of a hugely powerful empire spanning the entire south Mediterranean. Its most famous general was Hannibal who crossed the Alps to battle the Romans. Hannibal suffered his first significant defeat at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC, and after over 50 years of being watched closely by Rome, Carthage was attacked in the 3rd Punic War and completely destroyed. The city was redeveloped by the Romans a century later, and Carthage became the capital of the Roman province of Africa. What we see today are the remains of that era.
Both Monastir and Sousse are well known as beach resorts amongst sun-worshiping Europeans, but they are also towns with great historical heritage. Monastir has a history back to the time of Hannibal, an especially notable museum and a wonderful ribat fortified monastery. Sousse is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its authentic medina and souk, which should not be missed.
El Kef has a splendid Byzantine kasbah rising out of the old medina with both Byzantine and Ottoman architecture evident. At El Jem you will find exceptional remains of a Roman ampitheater, yet another Tunisian UNESCO World Heritage Site.