Sousse, Tunisia



Sousse or Soussa is a city in Tunisia, capital of the Sousse Governorate. Located (140 kilometres/87 miles) south of the capital Tunis, the city has 271,428 inhabitants in 2014. Sousse is in the central east of the country, on the Gulf of Hammamet, which is a part of the Mediterranean Sea.




The city allied itself with Rome during the Punic Wars, thereby escaping damage or ruin and entered a relatively peaceful 700-year period under the Pax Romana. Livy wrote that Hadrumetum was the landing place of the Roman army under Scipio Africanus in the second Punic War. In the centuries that followed, Sûsa was briefly occupied by the Normans of Sicily in the 12th century, was later more thoroughly occupied by the Spanish, and in the 18th century was the target of bombardments by the Venetians and the French. The French called the city Sousse. Sousse was the site of Chess interzonal in 1967 which was made famous when American Grandmaster Bobby Fischer withdrew from the tournament even though he was in first place at the time.




Sousse is the third largest city of the country after Tunis and Sfax. Although Sousse is associated with olive oil manufacture and has other industries, tourism predominates today. An olive grove stretching over more than (2,500 square kilometres/965 sqaure mi), constitutes one of its main riches since Antiquity. A busy port, open to the town centre and adds a touch of liveliness to its activity.


Places to visit


Medina, surrounded by its city walls and fortifications, is of historical interest. The Medina includes open and covered bazaars or souks. Buildings of historical interest include the ribat castle, the central mosque, and a historical museum in the Casbah with mosaics from the area’s many Roman villas. The Carthaginian catacombs can be visited.

Dar Esid or The Traditional Tunisian House. This charming little museum located just within the old city walls some 200 yards north of the main bus terminal is the home of a long standing Tunisian family that has now become a museum with the passing of the last family member.


Things to do


Take a swim in the sea or sunbathe at the beach, but be prepared for an excessive amount of rubbish in the sand.

Walking around the fishing boats at the port is a pleasant way to spend time, and families with children may wish to take a trip on one of the “pirate ships” which offer fishing and other nautical activities.

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