This imposing gate is also known as the Porte de France or the French Gate and is located at the Medina eastern point where Ville Nouvelle begins. The name means 'Gate to the Sea' and it was once connected to the walls of the Medina but these were taken down in this area in 1950 and so the gate stands all alone. The French actually built it in 1848 and modelled it on the Arc de Triomphe. Just beyond the gate in a small square known as Place de la Victoire where there are two lanes that take you into the Medina.
Bab el Bahr is located in the middle of Place de la Victoire, which divides the medina and the Ville Nouvelle. It means Gate of the Sea, and this was an accurate name until the French built the Ville Nouvelle. The French renamed it Porte de France and knocked down the surrounding houses which left the gate looking somewhat isolated between the medina and the new town.
The original name of this gate was Bab el Bahr meaning 'Gate to the Sea". Before French colonization this gate lead to Tunis lake. After building the colonial houses the gate 'separated' the Oriental from the European part. And the today's landmark of Tunis began to be known as French Gate (Porte de France).