** Tunisia - Medzhez el Bab - Tebursuk (** Dougga) - El Fahs - (** Tuburbo Mahzhus) - ** Zaghouan - * Mohammedia - ** Tunisia (253 km)
Three of the most significant sites of Roman excavations in Tunisia are on this road passing through the fertile river valley Medjerda. If you go by car, it will be a very interesting day trip. If the use of public transport, the route is to be divided into two parts. Restaurants and cafes along the road satisfy only the most modest demands. So those who are on the route and wishes to use the services of a hotel kitchen, it is best to stock up on lunch bags.
Tunisia (p. 26) The route goes west to Medzhez el Bab (Medjez el - Bab; 15,000 inhab.), 58 km, a very modern country town. Neighboring town Tebursuk (Teboursouk), 112 km - a lovely place, standing on the same Oued. Those who travel by public transport, will have to take a taxi for the trip here (about 8 km) to the excavation site.
Dougga ** (Dougga). Tunisia beautiful ruins are located at the foot of the mountain, surrounded by shiny silver-gray olive trees and flowering bushes. The village Tongga (Thongga), originally Numidian, starting with the II. BC lived refugees from the destruction of Carthage, and then, finally, the Romans declined Dougga came to V century AD, shaken by economic problems, which created the preconditions for the uprisings throughout the province of Africa.
Immediately at the entrance stands a strong semicircular theater, built in 168 AD and calculated for 3500 spectators. The architecture of the basement under the rows of seats, one can see the reception, using which the Europeans in the early Middle Ages, learned how to build the pointed Gothic arches. Acceptance of this is that the vaults assembled from individual inserted into one another conical ceramic tubes forming ribs. Give the necessary stability reduces stress occurs in the ribs and a binder solution. Individual arches placed one after the other and plastered so that the body is formed without any additional supports. When crossing the ribs with the same simple Roman and African art forms vault. As a result of the conquest of Spain by the Arabs, this technology has reached to the end of Europe.
The Forum of the Roman city you cross the square of the wind rose carved with the images of twelve winds. The square stands perfectly preserved Capitol portico of the temple (166-167). On the pediment of the temple depicts an eagle in the sky blowing person should be the emperor Antoninus Pius. Past the destroyed Byzantine buildings road leads to the forum with the temple of Saturn and the arch of the North Alex Andra (288 AD) and then to the sanctuary of Juno Celeste distinctive structure whose semi-circular form recalls the "moon" symbols puniyskoy goddess Tanit. Consequently, in the image of the Roman Juno Celeste still revered puniyka.
Marked on the map:
B. Capitoline temple
D. Arch of Severus Alexander
E. Sanctuary of Juno Celeste
F. Villa Seasons
G. Villa Shamrock
H. Triumphal Arch of Septimius Severus
In the southern part of the city is a magnificent private villas, such as Villa and Villa Seasons Shamrock, located 5 m below ground level and got their names on the unique mosaics (partially transferred to the Bardo Museum) - There is also a * and Arch of Septimius Severus. In the low part of the valley of debris striking cultural monument Numidian people Dougga - mausoleum Numidian prince Atabay. This three-story tower was built in the II. BC With the help found here signs with Punic and Numidian inscriptions proved that Numidians use the same alphabet, which is still consumed speak one of the Berber dialects Tuareg Central Sahara. This confirms that the ancestors of the Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of North Africa.
(Opening hours: daily., 8.30-17.30 in winter, summer, 8.00-19.00).
El Fahs (El Fahs; 10,000 inhab.), 173 km, the starting point for a visit to the second most important archaeological sites in North Africa, which was founded in the end of the I century. BC Roman town.
Tuburbo Mahzhus ** (Thuburbo Majus), as well as the Dougga, originated near the preexisting puniyskim settlement. From afar seen towering over the rolling hills of Corinthian columns palestra (gymnastics school for boys) Tuburbo. The city experienced its heyday in the II and III centuries. BC and was inhabited until the Arab invasion.
Almost square area of ??the Capitol Forum was the center of Roman Tuburbo. In the area adjacent to the forum marketplace clearly visible traces of filling her tiny shops. Well, where trade, there nearby and god Mercury, the front yard of his temple between the Capitol and the market plan in the form of leaf clover (trefoil), dating back to puniyskoy tradition.
The second most important object inspection in the south-west of the forum - it's kind of Petron palaestra and the adjacent terms. Built in 225 AD Petrone family gym was decorated truly royal portico with Corinthian colonnade. Cut in one corner of the yard "game in 36 letters," was used for training of the spirit in between bodily exercises. Baths and the Temple of Aesculapius complementary therapy center Tuburbo.
Strange impression stone pillars, supports, like growing up at every step of the ruins of the foundations. These are the remains of buildings constructed in a manner not those used in Rome, the so-called «Opus africanum» («African invention"). Rome took over it in the defeated puniytsev. The gaps between the towers filled quarry stone. So there was quite a cost-effective way of building houses and villas.
(Opening hours: daily., 8.30-17.30 in winter, summer, 8.00-19.00).
Zaghouan ** (Zaghouan), 198 km from the idyllic waters of the Temple especially noteworthy because of the surrounding landscape.
Sanctuary nymphs, called the Temple of water hidden under the cliffs of the mighty mountains Zaghouan (1295 m) is about 2 km from the town of the same name. In the basin of the church, under the watchful eyes of Neptune and the Nereids, collected water sources and aqueduct were sent to Carthage. Statues of deities have long since disappeared, and yet probably every visitor at the sight of this sanctuary is experiencing a great reverence for the value of water and to the art of ancient Rome.
Prince Puckler Muskau, visiting at the end of XIX century. Zaghouan array, called it "the Tunisian Switzerland". The saddle of the mountain, which today is a bumpy road, he walked in the footsteps of the lions and competed in climbing with his Tunisian conductors. Anyone who dares to climb on foot or by Land Rover up to the top, the path will be able to enjoy the magnificent views of the bay and the Gulf of Tunis, Hammamet, and the Cape of Cap Bon in between.
* Mohammedia (Mohammedia), 238 km away, in the middle of the XIX century. was to be the residence of the Beys. However, an attempt to reproduce Ahmed Bey in Tunis Versailles Palace collapsed. The remaining ruins of the palace is not worthy of much attention, but admired arches of a Roman aqueduct that runs parallel to the highway south of the RE Mohammed. Water pipes in the growth of the person supplied with drinking water from Tunisia Zaghouan up to the XIV century.
To the starting point of Tunisia, 253 km is another 15 km.