Welcome to Sfax, a vibrant city located in the heart of Tunisia, just 270 km southeast of the capital, Tunis. Founded in AD 849 on the ruins of Berber Taparura, this Mediterranean port has a rich history, diverse culture, and booming industries. With a population of over 1 million people, Sfax is the second-most populous city in Tunisia and a true gem of North Africa.
== History ==
Sfax has a long and fascinating history, dating back to the Carthaginian and Aghlabid eras. By the end of the 10th century, Sfax had become an independent city-state. The city was conquered by Roger II of Sicily in 1148 and occupied until it was liberated in 1156 by the Almohads. Sfax became an integral base of the Barbary piracy, prompting an unsuccessful invasion by Venice in 1785. When the Bey of Tunis signed the Bardo Treaty in 1881, making Tunisia a protectorate, an insurrection broke out in Sfax. Sfax was bombarded, and on 16 July the city was taken by the French after hard fighting. After World War II, Tunisia gained independence in 1956.
== Geography ==
Sfax has a hot semi-arid climate, with summers being hot and almost rainless, and winters being very pleasant with usually only light rain. The topography of the governorate of Sfax tilts regularly from the west to the coast, and local presents small hills and mountain ranges in the form of elongated draâs. The rivers are numerous, shallow, and rarely reach the sea, and most of the Wadis are endorheic, leading to closed depressions of the sebkhas and garâas type.
== Neighborhoods ==
Whether in the city center or between the radial roads, there are large, popular neighborhoods in Sfax, most of which are: Hay El Rabdh, Hay El Habib, Hay El Bahri, Hay Bourguiba, Hay El Badrani, Hay Ennasr, Hay El Maez, and Hay Thyna.
== Culture ==
Sfax contains many cultural landmarks, such as the archaeological museum, which includes a collection of ancient archaeological discoveries in the city and in the close sites, including the ancient city Thanae. Sfax also contains a museum of arts and traditions located in the medina called Dar Jallouli. The city had a municipal theater between 1903 and 1942, and it organizes the International Festival of Sfax, a summer event which welcomes artists from various countries. The French Institute of Sfax, commonly Maison de France, is a space of meeting, reflection, and creation open to all and also of expression. Sfax is also the second industrial city the most important in Tunisia, with important industries such as leather and wool, and is also known for the people of Sfax mastering many traditional crafts and industries such as construction, handicrafts, carpentry, blacksmithing, and the production of modern and traditional gold and silver.
== Conclusion ==
Sfax is a unique and exciting destination that offers something for everyone, from its rich history and culture to its booming industries and stunning landscapes. Whether you’re a history buff, a culture vulture, or simply looking for a place to relax and unwind, Sfax should be on your travel bucket list. Come and discover the beauty of this amazing city for yourself!