Sousse or Soussa (Arabic: سوسة Sūsa, Berber: Susa) 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
Sousse is in the central-east of the country, on
the Gulf of Hammamet, which is a part of the
Mediterranean Sea. The
name may be of Berber origin: similar names are found in
Libya and in
the south of
Morocco (Bilād al-Sūs). Its economy is based on
transport equipment, processed food, olive oil, textiles and tourism.
It is home to the Université de Sousse.
1.1 Roman and Vandal eras
1.3 Subsequent History
1.5 Historical names
2.1 Roman circus
8 Notable people
9 In films
10 International relations
10.1 Twin towns – Sister cities
11 See also
13 External links
A mosaic depicting
Medusa in the Museum of Sousse.
The Ribat of Sousse
Hadrumetum in the 11th century BC.
Roman and Vandal eras
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. Roman usurper
Clodius Albinus was born in Hadrumetum.
As part of Bonifacius's revolt against Constantinople, the Vandals
were invited in and they took
Hadrumetum in 434 AD and renamed the
town Hunerikopolis. During the
Vandalic War Justinian retook the town
in 534 and restored its Roman name.
In the 7th century AD Arab-Islamic armies conquered what is now
Tunisia and rapidly spread
Arab culture across what had been a
thoroughly Romanized and Christianized landscape. The Arabs seized the
city, which in the aftermath of Rome's fall was but a remnant of its
former self. They renamed the city Sûsa and within a few decades
elevated it to the status of the main seaport of the
When the Aghlabids invaded
Sicily in 827, Sûsa was their main staging
After the Byzantine city of Melite (modern Mdina, Malta) was captured
by the Aghlabids in 870, marble from its churches was used to build
the castle of Sousse.
In the centuries that followed, Sûsa was briefly occupied by the
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
Despite the turmoil around it, Sousse's character had retained the
solidly Arabian look and feel it had assumed in the centuries after
Islam's wars of conquest. Today it is considered one of the best
examples of seaward-facing fortifications built by the Arabs. Ribat of
Sousse, a soaring structure that combined the purposes of a minaret
and a watch tower, is in outstanding condition and draws visitors from
around the world.
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.
These days, Sousse, with a population of about 200,000, retains a
medieval heart of narrow, twisted streets, a kasbah and medina, its
ribat fortress and long wall on the Mediterranean. Surrounding it is a
modern city of long, straight roads and more widely spaced buildings.
Sousse has come under the rule of 5 major cultures.
Each of those cultures gave a new or modified name to the town. Each
of those names may appear in various forms. From oldest to newest some
of these names and forms of spelling/transliteration are:
Hadrumetum OR Hadrumete (Punic)
Colonia Concordia Ulpia Trajana Augusta Frugifera Hadrumetina OR
Hadrumetum OR Hadrumentum (Roman)
Justiniana OR Justinianopolis OR Iustinianopolis (Byzantine)
Susa (Berber), Sūsa (Arabic), Sousa OR
As the following reference shows, the above list represents only a
fraction of the spellings and transliterations of the names for Sousse
which were known in 1903 (PDF page 366).
According to an ICOMOS report from 1987, the siege and capture of
Sousse at the end of the 7th century, by Oqba Ibn Nafîi, resulted in
the total destruction of the city that incorporated the heritage of
the previous thousand years of Punic, Roman and Byzantine history. The
report states that no monument from this period "subsists in situ".
The official Tunisian body for matters of heritage and archaeology is
the Institut National du Patrimoine Tunisie / National Heritage
Institute (INP). That body maintains a project known as the Carte
Nationale des Sites Archéologiques et des Monuments Historiques.
A PDF file (in French), available from the site of the Institut
National du Patrimoine Tunisie / National Heritage Institute (INP),
containing over 400 pages from various reports and papers produced by
the SOCIÉTÉ ARCHÉOLOGIQUE DE SOUSSE around 1903, contains some 10
references to the word cirque in the context of Sousse. This document
makes absolutely clear that in 1903 the Roman circus of
considered the only public monument of
Sousse whose location was
known (PDF page 204).
From the discussion in this file, and from an aerial photograph it
would appear certain that the Roman circus of
Sousse was located, with
a north-south orientation, about 1 km (0.6 mi) north-west of
the walls of the medina at a location which, today, is partially
occupied by a sports ground.
Golf course Port El-Kantaoui
Sousse is the third largest city of the country after
Tunis and Sfax.
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 sq 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.
Sousse is an important tourist resort. It has a hot semi-arid climate,
with the seaside location moderating the climate, making it an
all-season resort with hot, dry summers and warm, mild wet winters.
The fine sandy beaches are backed by orchards and olive groves.
Only 20 km (12 mi) from Monastir and Monastir Habib
Bourguiba International Airport, hotel complexes with a capacity of
40,000 beds extend 20 km (12 mi) from the old city (Medina)
north along the seafront to Port El Kantaoui. Some 1,200,000 visitors
come every year to enjoy its hotels and restaurants, nightclubs,
casinos, beaches and sports facilities.
Sousse is considered to be a popular tourist destination, especially
due to its nightlife and vibrating nightclubs that will keep your head
banging until the early hours. Well-known nightclubs are Bora Bora,
Living, Rediguana, Platinum, the saloon.. Well known festivals
fairground..The top producers and DJs in dance come and play at the
various clubs. The season traditionally begins at the start of June
and finishes on the first weekend of October with the Closing Parties.
On June 26, 2015 a lone gunman, later identified as Seifeddine Rezgui
Yacoubi opened fire on tourists sunbathing on a beach near Riu
Imperial Marhaba and Soviva hotel killing 38 and wounding 39 before
being shot dead by the police.
Sahel Metro train in Sousse
Sousse well connected with main
Tunisian Railways network having
non-electrified lines to
Tunis (since 1899),
Sfax (since 1911) and
Kasserine (since 2004) with diesel multiple unit and locomotived
trains. Main Gare
Sousse located as terminus in city center while Gare
Kalaa Seghira serves the trains avoiding centre.
Also acting since 2010 separate electrified
Sahel Metro line go to
south to Monastir Habib Bourguiba International Airport, Monastir and
Mahdia. This line has
Sousse - Bab Jadid station as northern terminus
in centre of
Sousse and 4 other stations in city more.
Intercity buses and red-strip microbuses (so called louages) connects
Sousse with many cities in Tunisia.
Urban transportation of
Sousse presented by routes of articulated or
simple buses and blue-strip louages and by cheap taxi.
Medina of Sousse
A Medina, surrounded by its city walls and fortifications, is of
historical interest. The
Medina includes open and covered bazaars
(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
UNESCO declared the medina of
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site in 1988,
citing among other things its preservation from modern development.
Population: 220,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate)
Altitude: 2 m
Number of hospitals: (private and public) 15
Average Temperatures: (mean temperatures from May to August for the
last 30 years)
Min: 19.7 °C
Max: 29.1 °C
Average: 24.4 °C
Rainfall average: May: 19.3 mm
June: 4 mm
July: 1.7 mm
August: 10.3 mm
Köppen-Geiger climate classification system
Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as
hot semi-arid (BSh) bordering with hot-summer
The highest recorded temperature was 48 °C (118 °F) on
August 28, 2007, while the lowest recorded temperature was 0 °C
(32 °F) on December 27, 1993.
Climate data for Sousse
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average rainy days
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source #1: Climate-Data.org, Weather2Travel for rainy days and
Source #2: Voodoo Skies for record temperatures
Sousse mean sea temperature
16 °C (61 °F)
15 °C (59 °F)
15 °C (59 °F)
16 °C (61 °F)
18 °C (64 °F)
21 °C (70 °F)
24 °C (75 °F)
26 °C (79 °F)
25 °C (77 °F)
23 °C (73 °F)
21 °C (70 °F)
18 °C (64 °F)
Primasius of Hadrumetum, Roman bishop and exegete, noted for his
Commentary on the Apocalypse
Mohamed Ghannouchi, Prime Minister of
Tunisia from 1999 to 2011 and
self-proclaimed President of Tunisia
Hamadi Jebali, former Secretary-General of the Ennahda Movement.
Aymen Abdennour, footballer
Makrem Ben Romdhane, basketball player
Sousse's old city has aspects that made it ideal as a film location.
Most famous is
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), where
Cairo, however the styles of Sousse, white-washed houses with blue
details, bear no resemblance to the actual architecture of
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Tunisia
Twin towns – Sister cities
Sousse is twinned with:
Germany (5 September 1980)
Slovenia (27 July 1969)
Quebec City, Canada
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Serpukhov region, Russia
^ a b c d e f g ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites)
Report - The
Sousse Archived 2015-07-13 at the Wayback
Machine. from Site Officiel de la Ville de
Sousse Découvrir Sousse
Archived 2012-01-10 at the Wayback Machine. Histoire et Patrimoine
Sousse Patrimoine Mondial de l'humanité.
^ Brincat, Joseph M. "New Light on the Darkest Age in Malta's History"
(PDF). melitensiawth.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June
^ The Further Adventures Of Terrible-tempered Bobby
^ a b BARRINGTON ATLAS OF THE GREEK AND ROMAN WORLD, Gazeteer, page
511, Map 33 Theveste-Hadrumetum, Compiled by R.B. Hitchner, 1997, in
file BATL033_.PDF in B_ATLAS.ZIP Archived 2013-05-07 at the Wayback
Machine. from Princeton University Press Subjects Browse Princeton
Catalog by Subject Archaeology and Ancient History Archaeology and
Ancient History Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World.
R.J.A. Talbert, ed. Archived 2012-03-26 at the Wayback Machine.
Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, Edited by Richard J. A.
Talbert Map-by-Map Directory.
^ a b c
Sousse Archaeological Bulletin "SOCIÉTÉ ARCHÉOLOGIQUE DE
SOUSSE, Assemblée générale du 29 Février 1903, Extraits des
procès-verbaux des réunions." etc., from Institut National du
Patrimoine Tunisie / National Heritage Institute (INP) Digital
Sousse Archaeological Bulletin (near bottom of page).
^ Institut National du Patrimoine Tunisie/National Heritage Institute
^ Carte Nationale des Sites Archéologiques et des Monuments
Historiques from Institut National du Patrimoine Tunisie / National
Heritage Institute (INP) Archeological Map.
^ aerial photograph of
Sousse from DocArtis Progetti TUNISIA:
Projet de gestion du patrimoine culturel Fonti documentarie Foto
aeree PHOTOS AERIENNES
Sousse ville. A00219.
^ Wikimapia location:
Sousse Roman circus (probable location).
^ a b "Climate:
Sousse - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate
table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
^ a b "Sousse, Tuisia". Voodoo Skies. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
^ a b "
Sousse Climate and Weather Averages, Tunisia". Weather2Travel.
Retrieved 30 October 2013.
Tunisia - The pearl of the Sahel". Stadt
of Braunschweig]. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
^ "Sister Cities". Izmir Metropolitan Municipality. Retrieved
^ "Medmestno in mednarodno sodelovanje" [Intercity and International
Cooperation]. Mestna občina
Ljubljana City] (in
Slovenian). Archived from the original on 2013-06-26. Retrieved
Serpukhov Region". Archived from the original on 2017-10-02.
Sousse (Municipalité). "Portail officiel de la municipalité de
Sousse" (in French). Archived from the original on 2012-01-10.
Sousse (Municipalité). "Portail officiel de la municipalité de
Sousse > Découvrir
Sousse > Histoire et Patrimoine" (in
French). > '
Sousse Patrimoine Mondial de l'humanité' and
Sousse dans l'histoire'
Office de la marine marchande et des ports (Tunisia). "Port de Sousse"
(in French). Archived from the original on 2008-06-04.
Cultural portal. "Portail de la ville de Sousse" (in French).
General references and travel guides:
Sousse travel guide from Wikivoyage
Tunisia / Sousse".
LookLex. "Encyclopaedia / Sousse".
Interactive Virtual Tour of Sousse
"Susa (Tunisia)". Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.).
Heini. "Pictures of
Sousse (fifty-one pictures)".
Photo Gallery of
Sousse by a Tourist 2010 Winter
Coordinates: 35°50′N 10°38′E / 35.833°N 10.633°E /
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sousse.
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