The beautiful area of the Sahel, which includes the coastal strip extending from « SOUSSE » to « SFAX » , is characterized by its large plains, low stony hills, and depressions occupied by the sebkhas and brackish lagoons. Its particularity is to have been able to use its fields to plant olive groves, a precious resource which has facilitated the emergence and development of several cities or villages , and also of a well-equipped port where Rome and Carthage came to get suppliesyThese constitute the border line between two significant realities for Tunisia : from one side, the desert , and more specifically the African area ; from the other side, the Mediterranean part with its historical-cultural patrimony which made of Tunisia a melting pot for various civilizations.
The wonderful city of « SOUSSE » is a preferred place for Tunisia’s visitors. It is labelled the « Pearl of Sahel » . This is because its sunny beaches represent an irresistible attraction for a stay in one of its many hotels. SOUSSE is also an ancient hardor city, with thousands of artistic and historical signs that make of it a reference point for the historical events that marked Tunisia.
The city of hadrumetum had been created by the phoenicians who had made of it one of the most important commercial centers in the Mediterranean. During the IIIrd punic war, it became one of the largest cities on the coast of Rome, which allowed it to acquire the status of a free city, a status which it would later lose when it allied with Pompey against Caesar.
In 98 – 111 A.D, under Trajan, it became an important city for commercial activities, then a colony full of splendid and invaluable monuments. It was then declared a capital of the province of Byzacene ; thus it became an important center for the diffusion of Christianity.
During the different succeeding dominations, the city of SOUSSE preserved its importance, under the vandals , who used to call it
« Hunericopolis » and also under the Byzantine domination , when it got the name of Justinianopolis. Arabs did not accept to leave it in the hands of the Christians , and seized it after a long siege.
The city of Sousse knew a thriving period till the Ixth century, before going through a period of ups and downs. It was, in fact , taken over by the Normans, reconquered by the Almohads in the XIIth century, attacked again by the Spanish, then by the French and by the Venitians int the XVIIIth century.
The aspect under which SOUSSE appears today is typically Tunisian, for it has preserved practically intact its great Medina, surrounded by enclosing walls. Around it , however, in th area of the port, a modern urban fabric, of European type , has developed.