Carthage Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Willettsworld
  • Things to Do
    by Willettsworld
  • Things to Do
    by Willettsworld

Most Recent Things to Do in Carthage

  • cheekymarieh's Profile Photo

    The Tophet

    by cheekymarieh Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tomb stones

    Tophet is the name given to places of child sacrifice in the Middle East. Here in Carthage it is the area in which many archaeologists believe child sacrifices took place. These sacrifices may not have been as common as the number of gravestones in the area lead you to believe, however. Many families scarificed small animals like goats in place of the child and this has been supported by a number of bones from such animals being discovered in the ruins. It was less common for the child to be the source of the sacrifice. Urns containg the ashes of children have also been discovered here. Others disagree and say that this is just a spot where children were buried on their deaths. The principal gods to which they were offered were the sun god Baal-Ammon and the moon goddess Tanit.

    Usually the sacrifice was of (or on behalf of) the first born child, especially if it was a son. The remains of the victims were placed in urns and buried in the ground with an inscripted stele. It has been estimated that as many as 7,000 victims were buried in this way.

    There are also some tombs that you can go down into.

    There is a global tickets that covers entry into all of the sights at Carthage. It is about 5.5 dinars. You also have to pay an extra 1 dinar if you wish to take photos.

    The sights are open daily from 8am - 7pm from April to mid-September and from 8.30am-5pm at other times of the year.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • cheekymarieh's Profile Photo

    Punic Ports

    by cheekymarieh Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Carthage Port

    The main part of Carthage port had two harbours that were linked with a 70 feet entrance to the sea. This entrance could be closed when required by the use of an iron chain. It had a capacity for 220 ships.

    Unfortunately the Romans destroyed the port and there are very few remains, except for the odd piece of stone lying on the ground. There are one or two areas where a trace of the dock has been left behind and this shows the size of the ship and how it was docked.

    Close to the port you will find a small museum which has a model to show how archeologists think that the port may have looked back in Punic times.

    As with many of the remains around Carthage you have to use your imagination to picture how things looked before the destruction took place.

    There is a global tickets that covers entry into all of the sights at Carthage. It is about 5.5 dinars. You also have to pay an extra 1 dinar if you wish to take photos.

    The sights are open daily from 8am - 7pm from April to mid-September and from 8.30am-5pm at other times of the year.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • cheekymarieh's Profile Photo

    Antoine Baths

    by cheekymarieh Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    3 more images

    The full name of is the Baths of Antoninus Pius. Along with Archeological Park which you walk through to reach the baths, these are probably the most important and well known exhibits of Carthage. These ruins were built betwwen 145 and 165AD. The baths said to be some of the largest of the Roman times with the main pool being the size of an Olympic pool.

    One of the larger exhibits found was a huge block of toilets. They were so large that at first it was thought that it was a theatre because of the curved design.

    Within this area there are the remains of the frigidarium (cold bath), caldarium (hot room), tepidarium (hot bath), destrictarium (warmed cleaning room), laconium (sauna) and a palaestra (an open space).

    There are some pillars that remain intact and some reconstructions that show you the height of the original columns. There are some good views from the baths over to the sea.

    There is a global tickets that covers entry into all of the sights at Carthage. It is about 5.5 dinars. You also have to pay an extra 1 dinar if you wish to take photos.

    The sights are open daily from 8am - 7pm from April to mid-September and from 8.30am-5pm at other times of the year.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • brazwhazz's Profile Photo

    Acropolium (former Cathedral of St. Louis)

    by brazwhazz Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Acropolium's imposing figure atop Byrsa Hill
    1 more image

    The deconsecrated Cathedral of St. Louis was built in an oddly eclectic Gothic/Byzantine/Moorish style back in 1884. It is set at the top of Byrsa Hill, which is the place where, according to legend, Queen Dido founded Qart Hadash (Phoenician for "new city").

    In the 1990s, it was renamed "Acropolium" and became an exhibit and concert hall. However, at the time of our visit, it was empty, which made the colourful interior even more impressive. In fact, we were the only visitors in the place!

    The entry fee to the Acropolium is 2.5 dinars per person. It is not included in the Carthage multi-entry ticket. The Acropolium is open every day between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Architecture
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • starship's Profile Photo

    North Africa American Cemetery ~ Part II

    by starship Updated Jul 2, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Statue of Honor and reflecting pool
    4 more images

    A very nice gentleman greeted us when we arrived and asked if we had visited the cemetery before, asked if we had any questions (which we did) and gave us a fact sheet about the cemetery that was very interesting and helpful. He asked us if we would like to sign the guest book which we gladly did.

    Upon entering the gates of the cemetery, you will see a building to the right which is the cemetery's Vistor Center. Inside is a Visitor's room and other offices for the administrators, etc. The Visitor's room features photos including that of our current President, G. W. Bush (2007), and what I took to be the Commanders of the 4 branches of the armed forces which are hung over a black marble fireplace.

    On the opposite wall, is a beautiful mosaic which I believe is of Neptune/Posiden driving a chariot pulled by creatures which are half horse, half sea creature. This was a Roman mosaic discovered in this region of Tunisia and presented to the then Ambassador, G. Lewis Jones, by Tunisian President Bourguiba in 1959. The Ambassador, in turn, presented it to the cemetery. It is a beautiful piece of antiquity which is worth seeing. Other presentations or gifts, and photos line the walls as well, and there are several pieces of nice furniture including chairs which are scattered about for guests.

    Visiting the cemetery was a very special moment for us and I can only imagine what it was like for those members of our tour group who had family or friends who served in World War II and perhaps even died in North Africa. It was somehow very comforting to know that there was a spot in this far away country where our fallen soldiers were being "looked after" in perpetuity in this beautiful cemetery.

    The cemetery is open year round except Christmas Day and New Year's Day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The cemetery is part of the American Battle Monuments Commission which was established by Congress in March, 1923.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Seniors

    Was this review helpful?

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Sanctuary of Tophet

    by Willettsworld Updated May 1, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    This was my first stop at Carthage and I came here from the nearby Carthage Salammbo station. The name Tophet (meaning "place of burning"), which is found in the Old Testament ("in the valley of the children of Hinnom"), was the sacred place where human sacrifices (molek) were offered to the gods. The principal gods of Carthage were the sun god Baal-Ammon (the equivalent of the Greek Kronos and Roman Saturn) and the moon goddess Tanit (the "Face of Baal"; the equivalent of the Phoenician Astarte, Greek Hera and Roman Juno Caelestis). The Tophet, a sanctuary enclosed by walls, is believed to have been built on the spot where the legendary foundress of Carthage, Elissa, landed in Tunisia. The excavations (which started in 1921) have shown that the custom of sacrificing first-born children, particularly boys, which was common in earlier times in the Near East, was also practiced in the early days of Carthage. Although the heyday of the cult was from the sixth to the third centuries B.C., the Tophet continued in use as a cult site into the early Christian period. More than 20,000 urns have been discovered here as well as hundreds of stone stelae (carved gravestones).

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • starship's Profile Photo

    North Africa American Cemetery ~ Part 1

    by starship Updated May 15, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Graves of 2,841 who gave their lives
    3 more images

    One of the sites we most wanted to see in city of Carthage was the North Africa American Cemetery, to honor those who gave their lives during the liberation of North Africa during World War II. It is officially known as the North Africa American Cemetery because those buried here did not necessarily lose their lives in Tunisia, but possibly some other place in North Africa or even at sea.

    Although it was not a scheduled stop on our tour, our guide, Yousef, had the bus driver take us there as the last stop. I thought it was a very nice gesture on his part particularly since most of the people on his tour were Americans.

    The 27-acre site of the cemetery was established in 1948, but it lies over a portion of the site of Roman Carthage. The cemetery also lies in what was the the British First Army sector; the British were part of the force which liberated Tunis in May, 1943. The cemetery and memorial were completed in 1960 and now it is the resting place of 2,841 American World War II dead. Some of these soldiers lost their lives during the landings in North Africa--Algeria and Morocco--and the subsequent fighting which culminated in the liberation of Tunisia. Yet others died of accident, sickness or fighting in other locations.

    The cemetery is a tranquil and somber place with its neat rows of crosses and markers making patterns on the landscaped grounds. It has that reverent stillness about it as does the American cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach in Normandy, yet it's different. Near the long row of manicured trees, are the "Tablets of the Missing," a 364 ft. wall of Italian limestone engraved with the names of 3,724 of men and women who gave their lives but whose remains could not be identified, who were lost at sea or buried at sea. The inscription reads, "Here are recorded the names of Americans who gave their liives in the service of their country and who sleep in unknown graves 1941-1945 * Into thy hands O Lord".

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Seniors

    Was this review helpful?

  • starship's Profile Photo

    Carthage's Roman Ampitheatre

    by starship Updated May 15, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Roman Ampitheatre - closer view
    1 more image

    On our way to what I thought would be our last destination, the North Africa American Cemetery, our bus stops on the side of the road. At first we don't know why because all we see are a couple of roadside gift stands and the attendants. Then looking over the shoulders of these dusty fellows we're stunned to see the remains of the Roman Ampitheatre nearly next to the road!

    This ampitheatre does not compare to El Jem or the Roman Coliseum for well preserved ruins. But, it is said that this "coliseum" was once as large as the Coloseum of El Jem and it was a "place of spectacles." What is visible now is an oval, low, outer ring or arena made of stone nearly at ground level. At two points there are openings where the wild animals would be let into the arena. There is some opening in the middle as well which looks like it would lead up from below ground level.

    Built in the 1st century A.D., it was enlarged in the 2nd to 3rd century A.D. whereupon it held 41,000 people!!

    It is sad enough that animals were slaughtered here but it was the place of death for many early Christians as well. Saints Perpetua and Felicity were martyred for their faith in 203 A.D. in this very ampitheatre.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • starship's Profile Photo

    Cathedral of St. Louis

    by starship Updated May 15, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St. Louis Cathedral's beautiful cuppolas
    3 more images

    Rising from the crest of Byrsa Hill is the beautiful is the Cathedral of St. Louis. Although the Cathedral is now actually a de-consecrated church, it is still widely referred to as the Cathedral, St. Louis, on Byrsa Hill.

    The Cathedral belonged to the Seminary of the Pere Blancs (White Fathers) who established themselves on Byrsa Hill in 1881. The seminary was founded by Cardinal Levigerie whose goal it was to reclaim North Africa for Christianity. Part of this reclaimation was the manifested itself in building the Cathedral ( built in the 1890's), which was dedicated to French King Louis IX who died in 1270, and was later canonized. Louis was on a "crusade" when he died here of unconfirmed causes. The seminarians began to collect antiquities from Carthage which later became part of the collection housed in National Museum of Carthage in the building that was the old seminary.

    In the 1930's a conference was held in the Cathedral of St. Louis by the French Catholic Church as a show of Africa's Christian heritage which it could rightly claim. However, this move was said to have provoked Habib Bourguiba, the future President of Tunisia, who became personally involved with Tunisia's fight for independence from France. The Cathedral remained the seat of the Archbishop of Carthage and Primate of Africa until 1965, although the Cathedral was annexed (taken by) the government of Tunisia in 1964 when it became "state" property.

    The "Cathedral" is now used soley for cultural events and the interior has been stripped of religious decoration.

    Across from the Cathedral are several stalls selling all kinds of Tunisian souvenirs, but most likely none to do with the former Cathedral.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Magon Quarter

    by Willettsworld Written Feb 16, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    The Magon Quarter excavation site is in a small park (entrance on the sea front, between the Kothon and the Antonine Baths). The site gives some impression of the development of the town in Punic times. Immediately behind the sea wall (fifth century B.C.), which just before the Third Punic War was 13m/43ft high, was the craftsmen's quarter; beyond this were larger houses, and beyond these again luxurious villas with richly patterned terrazzo floors. There is a small museum with models of the Punic town walls, houses and streets, pavement mosaics of the Punic period and a model of the ancient quarries at El Haouaria.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Antonine Baths

    by Willettsworld Written Feb 16, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    One of the highlights of Carthage are the massive remains of the Baths of Antoninus Pius, which were the largest in the Roman world outside Rome. They occupy an area of 1.8 hectares/4.5 acres. Built between A.D. 146 and 162, in the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, they were extensively restored in 389 but subsequently collapsed, presumably as a result of a structural defect, and thereafter were used for centuries as a quarry of building stone.

    The ground-plan of the baths was strictly symmetrical; one wing may have been used by men, the other by women. Eight colossal columns of gray granite (each 1.60m/5.25ft in diameter, weighing 50 tons, with Corinthian capitals of white marble, 1.8m/6ft high and weighing over 4 tons) supported the vaulting of the central chamber, the frigidarium (cold room), which was 50m/165ft long by 20m/65ft wide. One of the eight columns has been restored and re-erected.

    A visit to the baths followed a fairly regular sequence. After undressing in the apodyterium the bather had the choice between the warm pool and physical exercise in the palaestra or the covered gymnasium. Then he could warm himself in the warm room (tepidarium), attend to his personal hygiene in the destrictarium, have a good sweat in the laconicum, followed by a hot bath in the caldarium, cool down gradually in the tepidarium and finally have a cold bath in one of the four basins in the frigidarium, the central feature of the whole establishment. More photos can be found in my travelogues.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Villa of the Aviary

    by Willettsworld Written Feb 16, 2008
    4 more images

    Overlooking the site of the remains of other Roman Villas is a re-constructed villa known as Villa of the Aviary due to its fine mosaics of birds. You get a good sense of how big and lavish a well-to-do Roman Villa would have looked like.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Roman Villas

    by Willettsworld Written Feb 16, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Immediately adjoining the Roman Theatre in Carthage is the Park of the Roman Villas (Parc des Villas Romaines). Once a Punic cemetery (in which a number of shaft graves are still to be seen), the site was later occupied by the peristyle villas of wealthy Romans. One third century house, the Villa des Volières, has been restored and now contains a small Antiquarium and fine pavement mosaics.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Roman Theatre

    by Willettsworld Written Feb 16, 2008
    4 more images

    Located near the remains of some Roman Villas, this Roman Theatre was built in the 2nd century AD and could accomodate 5,000 spectators. The stage, slightly raised, is backed by a scenae frons (stage wall). After much earlier alteration and destruction the theater has now been almost completely restored, and is used for open-air performances in July and August and for the Film Festival.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    La Marsa Cisterns

    by Willettsworld Written Feb 16, 2008
    4 more images

    Lying near the amphitheatre are Carthage's cisterns which once supplied water to Roman Carthage. Water was brought here from the Zaghouan hills via an aqueduct 132km (82 miles) long. Only 15 of the original 24 cisterns (built in the 2nd century) are now left, each 95m/312ft long, 12.5m/41ft wide and 11.50m/38ft high.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Carthage

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

65 travelers online now

Comments

Carthage Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Carthage things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Carthage sightseeing.

View all Carthage hotels