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Tunisia Country Information
The city is located in the northeastern part of the country, on the shore of Lake Tunis (Arabic: El Bahira; French: Lac de Tunis), which is a natural lagoon. Lake Tunis is connected to the Gulf of Tunis (which is part of the Mediterranean Sea) by a canal which terminates at Tunis' port, La Goulette (Arabic: Halq al Wadi).
Tunis a very ancient city, dating back to at least the 2nd millennium BC, as "Tunes". The city was originally founded by the Berbers, later occupied by the Numidians, and eventually taken over by the Phoenicians from the nearby city of Carthage. After a brief period where the Berbers reestablished control, and a Greek occupation by King Agathocles of Sicily, the Carthaginians again regained control over the city. The Carthaginian Empire, including Tunis, along with the city of Carthage, was however in turn eventually destroyed by the Romans at the end of the third Punic War, in 146 BC. The city of Tunis was however eventually rebuilt during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. Tunis however remained of secondary importance after Carthage (which was also rebuilt) until the early Islamic period, when Carthage was finally destroyed for good.
Due to its rich history, there are many ancient and historic sites to see in Tunis. These include the Aghlabid Ez-Zitouna Mosque ("Mosque of the Olive") which dates back to 723, the Dar-al-Bey (the Bey's palace), and the Great Mosque. Additionally the ruins of Carthage are just a short distance away from the city, to the Northeast.
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