Hammamet: Sbeitla

Stephen & Anne
Wed 2 Mar 2011 08:32

36.22.39N 10.32.69E


We decided that it was time to go and see more of Tunisia. So we went off hired a car with another couple, Jan and Tony and headed south west to Sbeitla.


The first part of the journey was very familiar – as it was the road to Kairouan, which we have travelled twice already!!


We arrived at Sbeitla about 11 am. Our first sight of the ruins was the “Arch of Diocletian”


. Description: Description: cid:image001.jpg@01CBF6D6.681C7200        

Arch of Diocletian, Sbeitla


Once we parked the car we headed to the ruins, only to be told we needed tickets from the ticket office. A different building a few meters down the road. With tickets in hand off we went into the ruins. We were the only tourists around, so the staff were glad to see us. The locals trying to sell us “real” roman coins they found on the site were pleased to see us as well – until we didn’t buy any!


The weather was beautifully sunny but there was a very biting wind, so very cold!!


The roman town of Sufetula built its temples around the 2nd Century. It was a wealthy town due to the olive groves. Due to its prosperity it became an important Christian centre in the 4th Century. The temples stand out in the site, mainly because they are about the only thing above knee height!!


Description: Description: cid:image002.jpg@01CBF6D6.681C7200      

A view of the archaeological site of Sufetula                                                                                                                                         


Description: Description: cid:image004.jpg@01CBF6D6.681C7200

Temples of Juno, Jupiter and Minerva


Description: Description: cid:image006.jpg@01CBF6D6.681C7200

Artistic shot of the columns of the Temple of Jupiter


The site was quite big and as we hadn’t taken our guide book we just wandered around aimlesly.  There were a number of baths we came across (although after reading the guide book after the visit we realise they may be baptismal fonts). Some of them had the mosaic works still intact. It is always nice to see the mosaics in situ and not in a museum.



Description: Description: cid:image003.jpg@01CBF6D6.681C7200  

A mosaic floor                                                                                                                                                                             



Description: Description: cid:image005.jpg@01CBF6D6.681C7200

A mosaic baptismal font


On the way back we had a quick stop in Kairouan for a late lunch before arriving back home. We also stopped to buy some beans by the road side from the local farmers. This was our long trip out into the country since the revolution and all looks normal.