Best Roman Heritage Sights in Africa

Like most of the Mediterranean regions, the coast of North Africa was once home to flourishing Roman colonies. Although the Romans were not the first settlers, nor the last conquerors of these regions, their heritage is still impressive. Visiting the archeological sites in Libya, Tunisia and Algeria is a great occasion to discover not only the ingenious panning of a Roman city and the sturdy constructions, but also the comfort and functionality that the old roman towns provided. Many of these North African colonies were equipped with running water, public baths, impressive amphitheaters and large squares. While it is hard to identify the very best Roman heritage sights in Africa, the following are all worthy of an excursion:

Bulla Regia, Tunisia

by davehighbury

The arid climate of North Africa was a challenge for Roman architects, yet they managed to overcome this obstacle with elegance. The houses at Bulla Regia were built partly underground in order to protect their owners from the summer heats – in addition to this subterranean setting, they were also provided with a cooling system consisting in flooded mosaic floors. Many of these elaborate mosaics are still visible today, together with the town’s forum and amphitheater.

Leptis Magna, Libya

by Robbo-Man

The ruins at Leptis Magna are a clear sign that Roman colonizers likes to bring the comfort, as well as their cultural heritage in every region they conquered. The Hadrianic Baths at Leptis Magna are quite impressive even today (many modern spas aren’t half of their size and beauty) and so is the beautifully preserved Septimius Severus Arch (a monumental triumphal arch carved in marble).

Djemila, Algeria

by Sapphira

This Roman site in the Algerian mountains is another proof of Roman architect’s brilliance and adaptability. Despite its being situated at 900 meters above sea level, the city of Djemila contained all the institutions and facilities of a typical Roman town: temples, basilicas, triumphal arches, baths, theaters and sumptuous residential buildings (all of which are still visible today).

Tipasa

by dalbera

Once a Punic port, Tipasa came to represent a strategic defense point for the Roman conquerors. Due to its extraordinary archeological and historic importance, the place was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. The main attraction of the site is represented by the Royal Mauritanian Mausoleum, dating way before the Roman conquest, as well as the ruins of the Roman fort, showing many inscriptions and buildings from the early times of Christianity.

(The ruins of Carthage and the coliseum at El Jem are two of the most famous Roman archeological sites, both of which you can find out about in some of our previous posts).

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