Located on the central coast of Tunisia, Monastir was once a small fishing town, but over the years this jewel that sits off the tip of North Africa has turned into a tourist hotspot. Old and drenched in history, Monastir was founded over an old Roman city. The city enjoys a Mediterranean climate, hot and sunny, which is contrasted well with the nearby clear blue seas, geometric architecture and exotic flora. Tunisia is the perfect place to soak up ancient culture, and Monastir boasts some of the country’s best beaches, museums and food. Wander through the cobbled streets and sample the very best of North Africa.
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Things To Do In Monastir

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10 Facts About Monastir

  1. The Ribat in Monastir was used as the setting for some of the scenes in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
  2. Ribat boasts one of the largest Islamic cemeteries in the world, which dates back to the 12th century.
  3. The Medina, or old town, has been restored almost to perfection over the years. It was once quiet shabby but is now postcard perfect.
  4. The best place to spend an evening in Monastir is on the promenade, called the Corniche, which leads to Plaisance harbour.
  5. Monastir has one of the best examples of a Roman amphitheatre in the world. It is called the El Jem and is one of Tunisia’s main attractions.
  1. The Phoenicians were the first to settle in Monastir. The city was first called Ruspina and after the Romans conquered it, it became Julius Caesar’s headquarters.
  2. After the city became a French protectorate, Monastir lost some of its political significance.
  3. Sidi Bou is probably the cutest area in Monastir. It is a village hanging off the edge of some cliffs and looks like it was drawn on.
  4. While the French were in Monastir they heavily influenced the architecture. Some of the buildings here look Parisian still – the style is now known as Rocoso Tunisian.
  5. Tunisia’s art and culture is heavily influenced by China, Spain and Persia. You’ll see this when visiting the souks in the market and the fine array of mosaics and pottery.

More About Monastir

Worthy of an extra note is the Amphitheatre of El Jem. This is an absolute North African must-see and looks as grand today as it must have done in Roman times. It could hold up to 35,000 spectators and signifies how powerful Imperial Rome was at the time. Not to be missed!

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