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Hammamet is a Tunisian city located in the north-east, on the south-east coast of Cap Bon, about sixty kilometers south of Tunis. Attached to the governorate of Nabeul, it constitutes a municipality with 73,236 inhabitants in 2014, and covers an area of 3,600 hectares.
Hammamet is one of the most important holiday resorts in Tunisia, and one of the most beautiful tourist towns in the country, renowned for its long sandy beaches and the beauty of its turquoise-reflective sea. Hammamet is a real magnet for both Tunisians and foreign tourists. Considered a corner that spreads its scent of jasmine flowers (flower symbolizing Tunisia) and orange trees. A former fishing and farming village that has become modern thanks to its high standard tourist infrastructure, its hotels, its bars, its renowned restaurants, its economic and sports activities, its lively nightlife and above all its beautiful beaches with fine golden sand and its thalassotherapy centers. It is now the tourist destination par excellence.
Since the Punic period, the region was already one of the most fertile parts of the Carthaginian agricultural domain. With the Roman domination appears an urban agglomeration nicknamed Pupput. Under the Romans, it experienced remarkable development: from a simple “vicus”, it rose to the rank of honorary colony (Colonia Aurelia Commoda) during the reign of Emperor Commodus between 185 and 192.
City of Byzacene, the city is located at the crossroads of two roads: one connecting the eastern coast to the cereal plain of Thuburbo Majus and the other part of Carthage, the capital of the province, and runs along the coast to Libya (formerly known as Leptis Magna). From then on, the city enjoyed municipal institutions and was adorned with monuments characteristic of the Roman city.
In the 13th century the Arabs built a fort and a small town named Hammamet (which means “Baths” or “Doves” according to the pronunciation). The fort was then replaced in the 15th century by the Casbah and the Medina. And then during the 16th century, the Spaniards fortified it before falling back into Turkish hands. The city generally stays away from invasions and battles. And with the construction of a railway line during the French protectorate, it really took off and became an important seaside resort, thanks to its large beaches with fine sand and its mild climate.
It was by building a majestic residence during the 1920s that Romanian billionaire Georges Sébastien made it known to the rest of the world. This residence was indeed the meeting place for several foreign artists and writers such as Georges Bernanos, Paul Klee, André Gide and many other personalities from the art world. Currently the residence has been transformed into a Cultural Center named after its founder “Dar Sébastien” in which the Hammamet International Festival and other cultural activities are held annually.
To discover more about Hammamet, do not hesitate to visit our Tunisia Travel Guide .
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