Tabarka is a guide's dream, all around the city clear traces of the exiting past are found. Yellow marble and lions were shipped out from there to the rest of the Roman empire. Some centuries ago, Tabarka was one of several pirate haunts, later it became a Genoese colony, before the Bey of Tunis in 1741 annexed it. Income for the inhabitants have been both coral fishing, exports of cork (even still), and ordinary fishing. Today a Genoese fort is clearly visible from anywhere, Remains of Ottoman forts are found on the hills above the town. The French constructed a jetty out to the island of the Genoese fort. Little is found of the Roman past, unless you visit the Bardo museum in Tunis. From the Punic past, only the name remains. The town itself is quite un-Arabic, with rectangular streets, and houses with pitched roofs covered by red tiles. Colours are limited to white and red. The atmosphere is laid back, and even touts in the city or out on the way to the fort, are quite relaxed. A tourist centre is being established east of the town, but this will probably have little effect on the special feeling of Tabarka.
The 16th century Genoese castle is both visually attractive, lying on top of a wild island (since the 1940's connected with the mainland) and with a fascinating history. From 1541 and until the middle of the 18th century it was a Christian stronghold in the middle of the Ottoman Empire. Around the castle, a tiny town of 1,200 inhabitants was built. Nothing remains of this now. Unfortunately, most of the inner parts of the castle is in use by the Tunisian military. Only a small section is open, with a tiny museum showing reproductions of mosaics.
They were shooting an Italian movie in the fortress so we couldnt see much - obviously limited access but the view from the top was breathetaking...
Founded by the Phoenicians as Thabraca, but it is likely that there had been a Berber settlement here prior to this.
2nd century: Under Roman control, Thabraca is the shipping port for Chemtou marble excavated in the southern parts of the mountains.
3rd century CE: Thabraca becomes an important centre for Christianity.
7th century: Falls to the Muslims after long time resistance.
1542: The island off Tabarka is bought by the Genoese, and a fort is established here.
1741: The Bey of Tunis takes control over Tabarka, and sells the Genoese stationed there into slavery.
1781: France obtains the sole rights to the coral beds of the coast from Tabarka to Tripoli.
1952: Habib Bourguiba is forced into exile here - right in our hotel:) Les Mimosas
Zone touristique, TÃºnez, Tabarka, 8110, Tunisia
Good for: Solo
We stayed at this hotle in July 2006 for a week all inclusive. As with all similiar resorts in...more
Zone Touristique, Tabarka 8110, Tunisia
Good for: Business