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Fortress of Monastir, (Ribat of Monastir)

This is the oldest and most important defensive work to have been built along the North African coastline by the Arab conquerors in the early days of Islam.
Founded in 796, this building underwent several modifications during the medieval period. Initially, it formed a quadrilateral and then was composed of four buildings giving onto two inner courtyards.
A spiral stair of about a hundred steps leads to the watchtower form the top of which visual messages were exchanged at night with the towers of neighbouring Ribats and from which visitors can admire a superb view over the city of Monastir and the open sea.
In the summer the Ribat houses various events that are part of the international festival of Monastir.

Monastir

Monastir (Arabic: المـنسـتير‎ al-munastîr, from Latin monasterium), called (mi’stir) in Tunisian Arabic, (20 km south of Sousse; 162 km south of Tunis), is a city on the central shore of Tunisia, in the Sahel area.

Monastir city in eastern Tunisia. It lies at the tip of a small peninsula protruding into the Mediterranean Sea between the Gulf of Hammamet and the Bay of Al-Munastīr. The ruins of Ruspinum, a Phoenician and Roman settlement, are 3 miles (5 km) to the west of the city. Monastir is now a port and, with adjacent Saqānis (Skanes), forms a fashionable beach resort complex that is served by an international airport. Its industries include textile milling (especially wool) and the manufacture of salt, soap, and olive oil. The city has a noted ribat (monastery-fortress), founded in 180 ce, to which it owes its name; also in the city are several old mosques and a modern mosque that was completed in 1968 and dedicated to Tunisia’s first president, Habib Bourguiba, who was born in Monastir. Benefiting from Bourguiba’s patronage, Monastir enjoyed considerable development, including a modern marina. In 2000 Bourguiba was buried at Monastir in his family mausoleum. Pop. (2004) 71,546. (Source: Britannica Encyclopedia & Wikipedis & Looklex-Tunisia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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