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Sights in Sousse and Monastir, Tunisia
Discovering The Sahel
This lens follows from My next holiday destination is Tunisia and as the title says, this lens will show you what there is to see in Sousse and Monastir.
We also visited Friguia Animal Park which is 36 miles from Sousse and I have showcased the animals you can see there on my next lens: Friguia Animal Park. This excursion also included an African performance whilst the dinner was being served - nice!
The eastern coast of Tunisia
The word "Sahel" is the Arabic word for "coast" and this area boasts some of the best beaches of the country. The area is rich in olive groves which is the main source of the region's wealth. Other popular resorts in the region are Port el-Kantaoui and Hammamet Jasmine. There are two airports in this region, Monastir and Sfax.
Books on Tunisia
Be informed of the culture, traditions and history of Tunisia before you go
SOUSSE - The capital of the Sahel
Sousse is the third largest town in Tunisia.
The main sights to see in the medina are:
Place Farhat Hached
A colourful square located in the centre of Sousse which also the entrance to the medina. The railway cuts through the square and on one side you can find the harbour lined with modern day ships as well as replica pirate ships like the one pictured above, for visitors. These signify that Tunisia was once a stop off point for pirates around the mid 16th century until early 19th century.
Place des Martyrs
This monument is located to the left of the entrance of the medina from Place Farhat Hached.
The monument commemorates Tunisian nationalism.
The walls of the medina are well preserved considering they have been around since the 9th century. They circle the town which is only broken at the Place des Martyrs.
The Great Mosque is located close to the Place des Martyrs at the edge of the medina which is unusual as it is usually found at the centre. This mosque was modelled on the mosque in Kairouan.
Ribats are fortified Muslim monasteries and the ribat of Sousse is one of the most best preserved monastic fortresses in Tunisia. It was built when the watchtower was also used as a lookout point for invasions. The whole town can be seen from the watchtower.
You'll get many vendors asking you to come into their shop just to "have a look" only to try their best to sell you something. One thing I learned is that they never try to give a price upfront. They will try to get you interested in a particular product before telling you the price. The use of bargaining skills come in handy here as both vendor and buyer should negotiate the price until both come to an agreement. Out of respect, only continue to haggle if you really want to buy the product.
Picture shows some of the decorative plates some shops have to offer.
MONASTIR - Birthplace of ex-president Habib Bourguiba
Habib Bourguiba 1903-2000
Monastir was Habib Bourguiba's birthplace and home. He studied law in France and returned to Tunisia to form a political campaign against the French rule of his country. Tunisia regained political independence in 1956 and Habib Bourguiba became first prime minister and then president. His presence is very much felt in this area as the streets here are named after him and his family and also a statue of himself as a schoolboy. Not to mention the unmissable mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba and his family which is situated within the Sidi el-Mezeri Cemetery, shown in the picture above.
Monastir is a popular town for tourists as the area boasts a lot of hotel complexes but there is still a wealth of culture and history to be seen here.
This picture shows one of the two minarets at the Bourguiba Mausoleum
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
This an octagonal structure situated on the right of the avenue that leads to the Bourguiba Mausoleum. It is a representation of all the Tunisians who gave their lives fighting for the freedom of their country.
Great Mosque and Ribat
The ribat was built before the Great Mosque.
The ribat is one of the oldest defensive fortresses in Tunisia and being on the coast, it served as an important lookout point. The Great Mosque was built in the 9th century and is located next to the ribat.
This picture shows the Ribat near the beach
This mosque was built in 1963. It is quite a recent building which is reflected in the modern architecture. It is spacious with a prayer hall that can accommodate up to 1000 people.
Other buildings of interest:
Museum of Traditional Costume
This museum showcases a variety of costumes from almost every region of Tunisia. It also has wedding outfits and jewellery.
Place du Gouvernorat
This is a square is surrounded by government buildings as the name suggests. There is a theatre and congress hall located nearby. The statue of Habib Bourguiba as a schoolboy is found here.
Books on Habib Bourguiba
Read about the famous man that changed Tunisia
Friguia Animal Park - and Shaka Night Show
This is the entrance to Friguia Animal Park, a colourful, inviting entrance leads to intricate wood carved seats and all the African animals you would expect.
The extra is that there is a Dolphinarium where you have the opportunity to swim with dolphins and watch their show.
Check out my next lens here: Friguia Animal Park, Bouficha, Tunisia
On a last note... - Canon EOS 500D
Whether you are an amateur like me or a professional photographer, this camera gives you the flexibility to work at both levels. There is the automatic setting for quick, great quality shots or you can tweak the manual settings to give you more definitive photographs with your unique style.
Canon DSLRs Accessories
Already have a Canon DSLR?
Then consider these extras to enhance your photographic experience.
Thanks for dropping by, please feel free to leave any comments.