Tunisia Travel Guide

Tunisia Sights

Ancient Carthage

  • Historic District/Site
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 03/24/2017

Fodor's Review

Founded by the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC, Carthage became the capital of the Punic Empire. Birthplace of the legendary warrior Hannibal, it was a center of maritime trade and once had a massive 200-boat navy and a mercantile fleet. Carthage clashed with the Roman Empire in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC in the Punic Wars, which resulted in the total destruction of Phoenician Carthage in 146 BC. The massive, man-made Punic ports can still be seen, though many of the structures that remain date from the Roman era. Remains of elements of the ancient city lie on Byrsa Hill, which also offers excellent views across the Gulf of Tunis. The Tophet, a graveyard filled with carved headstones, stood next to the temples of Baal Hamon and Tanit. Here, according to the Romans, the Carthaginians regularly sacrificed children to their gods. Modern scholars are now casting doubt on the Roman tales of regular child sacrifice, suggesting that animal sacrifices were the norm, though it's certain that

in dark times children were indeed put to death to please the deities. At the end of the 1st century BC Rome founded a "new" Carthage on the site, and that new city became the capital of Roman Africa. It was an impressive city as witnessed by the remains of the Baths of Antonius Pius, where the "cool room" alone measured 154 feet in length and 50 feet in height. The large Amphitheater has been fully renovated and is still used for concerts during the summer arts and music festival.

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Sight Information

Address:

Carthage, Tunis, 2016, Tunisia

Sight Details:

  • 10 DNT

Published 03/24/2017

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