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Calm Medina street, Tunis

The walls which once enclosed the Medina in Tunis long since disappeared, apart from a few town gates, and their place has been taken by a ring of streets around the old town, which is in the form of an oval measuring 1,500m/1,640yds from north to south by 800m/880yds from east to west. It is the largest Medina in Tunisia and the finest after the Medina of Kairouan. Originally going back to the ninth-11th centuries, it dates in its present form largely from the Hafsid (13th century) and Turkish (17th-18th century) periods. The French demolished its outer walls but left it otherwise unchanged.
The Médina, built on a gentle hill slope on the way down to the Tunis Lake, is the historical heart of the city and home to many monuments, including palaces, such as the Dar Ben Abdallah and Dar Hussein, the mausoleum of Tourbet El Bey or many mosques such as Zitouna Mosque. Some of the fortifications have now largely disappeared around it, and it is flanked by the two suburbs of Bab Souika to the north and Bab El Jazira to the south.
But east of the original nucleus, first with the construction of the French Consulate, the modern city was built gradually with the introduction of the French protectorate at the end of the nineteenth century, on open land between the city and the lake. The axis to the structure of this part of the city is the Avenue Habib Bourguiba, designed to by the French to be a Tunisian form of Champs-Elysees in Paris with its cafes, major hotels, shops and cultural venues. On both sides of the tree lines avenue, north and south, the city was extended in various districts, with the northern end welcoming residential and business districts while the south receives industrial districts and poorer peoples.

Tunis

Tunis (Arabic: تونس‎, Tūnis) is the capital of the Tunisian Republic and also the Tunis Governorate, with a population of 1,200,000 in 2008. It is Tunisia's largest city.
Situated on a large Mediterranean gulf, (the Gulf of Tunis), behind the Lake of Tunis and the port of La Goulette (Halq al Wadi), the city extends along the coastal plain and the hills that surround it. At the centre of more modern development (colonial era and post) lies the old medina. Beyond this section lie the suburbs of Carthage, La Marsa, and Sidi Bou Said.
The medina is found at the centre of the city: a dense agglomeration of alleys and covered passages, full of intense scents and colours, boisterous and active trade, a surfeit of goods on offer ranging from leather to plastic, tin to the finest filigree, tourist souvenirs to the works of tiny crafts-shops. (Source: planetware & tunisguide & wikipedia)

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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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