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Tunis

Tunis is the capital of Tunisia, and the first stop on our Tunisian adventure.

Tunisia has a long and diverse history, which can be seen in its architecture.

Tunis buildings

The country also has a strong French influence. This is the Ville Nouvelle, the section of Tunis that the French built. The church is a mixture of Gothic, Byzantine and Moorish styles.

Cathedral of St Vincent de Paul

No matter where you turn, you see something interesting. This is an ornate door near the medina in Tunis.

Ornate door

The major feature in Tunis is the Medina (the old walled market). This is the Bab Bhar (or French Gate), which is at one of the entrances into the medina. This is looking at the gate with the Ville Nouvelle behind it; the medina is behind me.

Bab Bhar

The medina is a World Heritage site. It began in the 7th century and has been the focal point of the city until the French arrived and built the Ville Nouvelle. The medina is roughly divided up into different markets: this is the area for jewelery shops.

Medina, Tunis

The medina is full of narrow streets lined with small shops.

Medina, Tunis

One of the must see sights in Tunis is the Bardo Museum. It is housed in a former palace of the Husseinite beys. This is the entrance to it.

Bardo Museum

Inside the Bardo Museum there is a spectacular collection of Roman mosaics. The mosaics fill several large rooms.

Mosaics

More mosaics from the Bardo Museum.

More mosaics

An incredible amount of work and skill has gone into creating these mosaics.

Mosaic close up

The architecture of the Bardo Museum building is also spectacular.

Virgil

This room is entirely covered with detailed stucco and colourful tiles.

Virgil

This is just one of the four alcoves of the room.

Virgil

In the centre of the room is a Roman mosaic deplicting the Roman gods for the days of the week.

Days of the week

This room used to be where concerts were held.

Althiburos

This room contains many Roman sculptures.

Sculpture room

The view from upstairs.

Gallery

Another richly decorated room.

Bardo Museum

Running east from the medina is a two kilometre long, tree line boulvard where people sit in sidewalk cafes drinking coffee – very Parisian. At the end is this clock tower. Notice the strange building in the background?

Place du 7 November 1987, Tunis

This is the Hotel du Lac, where I stayed a few nights.

Hotel du Lac

Some people think this building was an inspiration for the Jawas' Sandcrawler from Star Wars.

Hotel du Lac

There are shoeshiners in the streets of Tunis. This one had an incredible array of colourful polishes.

Shoe polishes

The clock tower as seen from my room in the Hotel du Lac (along with peak hour traffic). After Tunis, we headed south to Medenine.

Clock tower by night