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The public clock of Tunis' suk in the Medina neighborhood.

The medina of Tunis has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. The medina contains some 700 monuments, including palaces, mosques, mausoleums, madrasas and fountains dating from the Almohad and the Hafsid periods. These ancient buildings include

the Great Mosque (including the Muslim University and library)
Aghlabid Ez-Zitouna Mosque ("Mosque of the Olive") built in 723 by Obeid Allah Ibn-al-Habhab to celebrate the new capital.
the Dar-al-Bey, or Bey's Palace, is comprised of architecture and decoration from many different styles and periods and is believed to stand on the remains of a Roman theatre as well as the tenth century palace of Ziadib-Allah II al Aghlab.

Tunis (Arabic: تونس, Tūnis) is the capital of Tunisia and also the Tunis Governorate, with a population of 699,700 in 2003.
Situated on a large Mediterranean gulf (the Gulf of Tunis), behind the Lake of Tunis and the port of La Goulette (Halq al Wadi), the city extends along the coastal plain and the hills that surround it. At the centre of more modern development (colonial era and post) lies the old medina. Beyond this section lie the suburbs of Carthage, La Marsa, and Sidi Bou Said.

Tunis is a city with a long history. In the 2nd millennium BCE a town, originally named Tunes, was founded by Libyans and also over time occupied by Berbers and Numidians. In the 9th century BCE, the city was taken over by Phoenicians from Carthage. The Berbers took control of Tunis in 395 BCE but it was soon lost when Agathocles invaded Africa and established his headquarters there. When Agathocles left Africa, the Carthaginians took control of the city once again.
In 146 CE, the Romans destroyed Tunis (along with Carthage). However, the city was subsequently rebuilt under the rule of Augustus and became an important town under Roman control and the center of a booming agricultural industry.
It was not until the 7th century, after the final destruction of Carthage, that the city achieved its own importance under the control of Arab Muslims. It was at this time that the medina of Tunis was first built.

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Additional Photos by Paolo Motta (Paolo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3739 W: 144 N: 8840] (41258)
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