Culture, curiosities and traditions of Tunisia

Brief History of Tunisia

Inhabited in ancient times by the Berber people, the territory of modern Tunisia is identified with the foundation by the Phoenicians in the town of Carthage in the ninth century. B.C.; It was destroyed in 146 BC just by the Romans and became a province was conquered by Byzantine and finally by the Arabs. These have shaped the Tunisian culture. In this period there was the foundation of the city of Kairouan, the most important center of Islamic period; Here it was built the Great Mosque of Sidi called Oqba. The Arab element is still present in the language, Arabic course, and in the Islamic religion professed by the Tunisians.
became independent during the turkish domination, Tunisia has suffered in our century colonization by France; this conquest we see it today with the use by the Tunisian French. Just at this time in Tunis it is founded Alaoui Museum which will become, in 1956, the National Museum of Bardo, this is the main archaeological museum that contains the largest collection of mosaics in the countries of the Maghreb.

Mashrabiya (arabic balcony)

Mashrabiya is Arabic term given to a type of bay window (enclosed balcony and protruding from the facade of a building) closed with carved wood. It is always located on the second floor of a building or upstairs. The Mashrabiya name comes from "ashrafa" which means neglecting or observe. This solution allows you to get a good view of the street without being seen by passers-by. Mashrabiya is an ornament of the rich houses and used mainly in the cities, while in villages it is little used.
Wrong to believe that this type of window or balcony servant to women so they can secretly watch what is happening on the streets. Typical areas of North Africa and the Arab world, the purpose of these balconies is to protect the privacy of the family from the outside view and passively cool the rooms, function obtained by exploiting the physical properties of wood worked in special grates wooden able to ensure the welfare thermo internal humidity at home.
Currently they define Mashrabiye, those openings screened by a lattice of wood, discreet, useful and elegant, characterized by a more or less dense texture.

Red Lizard Train

In 1866 Tunisia was discovered an area rich in phosphate, between the Algerian border and the city of Gafsa. For the exploitation of this mineral, in 1905 it was built a railway connecting the mines to the port of Sfax. Exhausted phosphate deposits, the railroad was abandoned. In 1994 it was decided to restore it for tourism purposes, an operation that has reported this railway to its former glory. Today it is called Lezard Rouge, that is, the Red Lizard, is 42 km long and connects Metlaoui Redeyef, the main center of mining. There are two major attractions: the breathtaking panorama of Selja, spectacular gorges that follow the course of the torrent creating canyons and natural amphitheatres, and the train itself, a convoy of six luxury cars of 1910 restored, with embroidered armchairs, sofas leather, wooden benches, marble bathrooms, decorated mirrors and old photos of the time.

Bardo Museum

Notorious for brutal bloody episodes of some terrorists, The Bardo Museum, after the Egyptian Cairo is the most important in all of northern Africa. Located in a beautiful nineteenth-century house in a suburb of Tunis, it contains primarily the largest collection of Roman mosaics in the world. The museum includes six sections, prehistoric, Punic, Roman, pagan, early Christian, Arab-Muslim. The exhibited collections are spread over three floors and occupy 34 halls engaging walls and floors with over 2000sqm of mosaics including many Roman origin of the second and fourth centuries. There are several statues of gods, heroes and mythological characters. One room is dedicated to the Christian period of Tunisia.

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