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Revision as of 15:04, 10 May 2008
- For other places with the same name, see Carthage (disambiguation).
View over the ruins to the Mediterranean coast
The ruins of Carthage are in Tunisia, 15 km north of Tunis.
A city of the Pheonician and Punic periods from the C6th BC it was the base of a powerful trading empire spanning the entire south Mediterranean and home to a population of the order of half a million people. Its most famous general was Hannibal who crossed the Alps to battle with the Romans. Hannibal suffered his first significant defeat at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC, which ended the 2nd Punic War. After over 50 years of being watched closely by Rome, they were eventually attacked in the 3rd Punic War. The citizens defended the city against Imperial Rome in 146BC yet lost, and Punic Carthage was completely destroyed by the order of the Senate. The site was redeveloped by the Romans a century later and Carthage became the capital of the Roman province of Africa. A UNESCO World Heritage List site.
Take the TGM light rail line from Tunis to Carthage-Hannibal station.
Walk. The area is large and sightseeing is sweaty work on a hot day.
Very little remains of Carthage today, and Punic Carthage in particular was completely obliterated.
- Antonin Baths. Ruins of the largest Roman baths outside Rome itself. Guides are available in a number of languages. TD 5 + TD 1 for photo rights. Please note that it is illegal to take photographs in the direction of the presidential palace. Doing so, especially when traveling alone, may land you in jail for up to 3 years.
- Carthage Museum. Most remnants excavated from the ruins have been stored in this cavernous museum located on Byrsa Hill, documenting both the Punic and the Roman era. 8:30AM-5:30PM (until 7PM in the summer), entry TD 4.2.
- Acropolium (St Louis Cathedral) on top of Byrsa hill. Completed in 1890.
- World War II North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial,  Just north of Carthage, a five minute walk from the Amilcar Station. Open daily except for December 25 and January 1; 9AM-5PM. The Cemetery is the final resting place for 2,841 American military Dead lost during the War in North Africa. A monument is inscribed with the names of 3,724 Americans whose remains were never found or identified. The memorial court contains large maps in mosaic and ceramic depicting operations across Africa. Free.
There´s a lot of leather products to buy in Tunisia, from handbags to puffs. It´s cheaper than in Europe or America, and there´s a lot to choose from.
You can also buy many handmade items that are characteristic of Arab countries.
The Hotel Villa Didon, next to the main Carthage ruins, offers a stylish lounge and terrace with delightful views. Very pleasant for an evening beer or glass of wine.
- Sidi Bou Said - this charming town is just a few stops further on from Carthage and is a great place to eat and watch the sunset