Carthage, a Phoenician colony, biggest trade metropolis of the world; razed by the Romans is now a UNESCO world Heritage site. We took a thirty-minute train ride from Tunis to the site, as it is now a suburb of Tunis.
The Carthaginian Empire, Rome’s archenemy, was centered in Tunisia. Its capital, Carthage was founded by Phoenician settlers from Tyre and Sidon (modern day Lebanon); Carthage was an ancient Mediterranean powerhouse. Three wars between Rome and Carthage (known as the Punic wars) were waged in the first few centuries before the birth of Christ. These culminated with the decimation of Carthage in 146 B.C. by the Roman general.
Between the destruction of Ancient Carthage and the Arabic conquests of the 7th century, many cultures have made Tunisia their home. Carthage enjoyed a new period of prosperity under the Roman Empire until its collapse in the 5th century. Roman rule was replaced briefly by the Vandals, who made Carthage the capital of their kingdom. Carthage was then absorbed temporarily by the Byzantine Empire, until the rise of Islam in the 7th century.
The site is spread out and little is left of this ancient city. However, the remains are impressive as the footprints of the city can be seen from the top of the hill. Other notable sites include the Roman amphitheatre, Antoinine Baths and the Roman Villas, reconstructed houses with marble columns and mosaics.