Tunisia’s history and list of attractions would do justice to a country twice its size. From the stone-age settlements near the oasis at Kebili to the space-age sets of the Star Wars movies (Tataouine was named after the Tunisian town after all), its lush-to-lunar landscapes have seen plenty of action.
Tunisia may be the smallest country in North Africa but it has achieved a new scale of international notoriety since the Tunisian Revolution that took place in January, 2011.
Aside from its recent place in history, Tunisia has a long history dating back thousands of years. Tunisia has first and foremost been a Berber heartland with the continual influence of foreign powers that has guided it’s through the ages, and shaped its culture. It is at the geographical center of the Mediterranean Sea which is important to bear in mind when looking at Tunisian history. It is the home of Carthage and Utica which took their place in the immortal lore of Hannibal and the Three Punic Wars. After, Tunisia became the most important food producing province of the Roman Empire, becoming known as the veritable “Granary of the Empire.” It was ruled by the Vandals and again by the Berbers until the Arab invasions in the late 600s where in the city of Kairouan was established in 670. A series of Arab rulers reigned over Tunisia as well as other Mediterranean powers until the Ottomans consolidated power in the 1700s. In 1889 France invaded Tunisia and ruled the country until 1956 when independence was declared.
Geography and Climate
The Republic of Tunisia lies at the northernmost tip of Africa, a strategic location that throughout history has made it a crossroads between Europe and the Middle East. Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and northwestern Libya form the Maghreb, and area of common history, language and culture.
The country’s area of 63.378 square miles is slightly smaller than Missouri and has 1,000 miles of Mediterranean coastline. Tunisia’s weather is temperate with generally mild winters and hot summers. Winters are short and rainy and the temperature rarely falls below freezing.