Tunis is the capital city of Tunisia and the focus of the country’s political, commercial, and cultural activities. The city, situated on a Mediterranean Sea Gulf at the Lake of Tunis, is divided into two sectors: the Medina, the old Muslim city which neighbors the ruins of Carthage, and the modern European quarter. Tunis was founded by Libyans in the 9th century BCE, who soon surrendered to the Phoenicians from Tyre. Tunis then served as the base for the Romans when they waged war on the Phoenicians in Carthage. With Rome’s triumph, both cities were destroyed, although rebuilt later. Despite Tunis started flourishing under Roman rule, its importance reached a peak with the Muslim conquest in the 7th century AD, becoming the capital city under the Aghlabids and the Ḥafṣid dynasty. The modern city of Tunis was built under French rule, which lasted from 1881 until Tunis became the capital of independent Tunisia in 1956. During this period, the French built the modern European quarter and the city’s booming commercial and industrial activities attracted many settlers. Today, the Tunisian economy has expanded greatly allowing significant social changes throughout the city, along with growth and development.
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