Bizerte or Bizerta (Arabic: بنزرت Benzart), the classical Hippo, is a town of Bizerte Governorate in Tunisia. It is the northernmost city in Africa, located 65 km (40mil) north of the capital Tunis. It is one of the oldest known settlements in Tunisia, having been founded by settlers from the Phoenician port of Sidon around 1100 BC. It is also known as the last town to remain under French control after the rest of the country won its independence from France. The city had 142,966 inhabitants in 2014.
Bizerte City Hall in Belgique Street area
Location in Tunisia
|• Urban||34 km2 (13.127 sq mi)|
|Elevation||5 m (16 ft)|
|• Density||3,363/km2 (8,712/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|Area code(s)||+216 (Tun) 72 (Bizerte)|
Hippo is the latinization of a Punic name (Punic: 𐤏𐤐𐤅𐤍, ʿpwn), probably related to the word ûbôn, meaning "harbor". To distinguish it from other places of the same name, the Greeks and Romans used several epithets. Scylax of Caryanda mentions it as Hippo Acra and Hippo Polis ("Hippo the City"). Polybius mentions it as Hippo Diarrhytus (Greek: Ἱππὼν διάρρυτος, Hippōn Diárrhytos), "Hippo Divided-by-the-Water", in reference to the town's prominent canal. It also appears in Roman, Vandal, and Byzantine sources as Hippo Zarytus. Its Arabic name Banzart (بنزرت) and the French and English forms derived from it all represent phonetic developments of its ancient name.
Around 950 BC the city came under the influence of Carthage under the leadership of Queen Dido/Elissa; In 309 BC, during the Greek–Punic Wars and after the defeat of Agathocles, the city and sicily returned to Carthaginian Republic, its port is used by several Carthaginian generals in the Punic Wars as Hamilcar Barca, Mago, Hasdrubal and Hannibal.
Bizerte was taken by Arabs in 647 in their first invasion, but reverted to Byzantine control until they were defeated and driven from North Africa finally in 695-98, by the troops of Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire in 1535 and then by the Turks in 1574. The city then became a corsair harbour and struggled against the French and the Venetians.
With the occupation of Tunisia in 1881, France gained control of Bizerte and built a large naval harbour in the city.
In 1924, after the French government officially recognized the Soviet Union (USSR), the western military fleet of White Russia that had been kept in the port of Bizerte was returned to the Soviet government. The ships were never moved from the port and finally were sold there as scrap metal.
In March 1939, towards the end of the Spanish Civil War, Spanish Republican Navy Commander Miguel Buiza ordered the evacuation of the bulk of the Republican fleet. Three cruisers, eight destroyers and two submarines left Cartagena harbor and reached Bizerte where they were impounded by the French authorities.
During the Second World War, the German and Italian Army occupied Bizerte until Allied troops defeated them on 7 May 1943. During the fighting between the Allied forces and the German Army, many of the city inhabitants fled to the countryside or Tunis. The city had suffered significant damage during the battle.
Due to Bizerte's strategic location on the Mediterranean, France retained control of the city and her naval base after Tunisian independence in 1956. In 1961 Tunisian forces blockaded the Area of Bizerte and demanded French withdrawal. The face off turned nasty when a French helicopter took off and drew fire. The French brought in reinforcements; when these were fired upon, France took decisive military action against the Tunisian forces. Using state of the art weapons and decisive force the French took Bizerte and Menzel Bourguiba. During the three days, 700 Tunisians died (1200 wounded); the French lost 24 dead (100 wounded).
Meetings at the UN security council, and other international pressure moved France to agreement; the French military finally abandoned Bizerte on 15 October 1963.
Bizerte is on a section of widened inlet and east-facing coast of the north coast of Tunisia, 15 kilometres from Ras ben Sakka (the northernmost point in Africa on the Mediterranean Sea), 20 kilometers northeast of the Ichkeul lake (a World Heritage Site), 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of the archaeological site of Utica and 65 kilometers north of Tunis.
it has to the west coastal hills forming an outcrop of the Tell Atlas with well-conserved woods and vantage points. Its associated beaches include Sidi Salem, La Grotte, Rasenjela, and Al Rimel. It is on a section of Mediterranean climate coastline, close to Sardinia and Sicily, as opposed to coasts in the south of the country which have a year-round dry desert climate.
The city is centered on the north shore of the canal of Bizerte linking the Mediterranean Sea to a tidal lake, the Lac de Bizerte which is larger than all parts of the town combined, to the immediate south. Built-up areas are in three directions:
The bridge leads to the motorway A4 leading to Tunis–Carthage International Airport and the capital. On the town side the P11 passes semi-rural Louata, hugs Ichkeul Lake and branches into a western route, the P7, leading directly to Tabarka on the coast next to the Algerian border. The P11 leads south-west to Béja, a governorate center, in the foothills of the Tell Atlas, forks into several roads at Bou Salem, a small town in a broad fertile plain, and climbs to Firnanah passing two high-altitude lakes and also approaching the north-west border with Algeria.
|14.6 °C (58.3 °F)||14.0 °C (57.2 °F)||14.3 °C (57.7 °F)||15.1 °C (59.2 °F)||17.2 °C (63.0 °F)||19.9 °C (67.8 °F)||23.4 °C (74.1 °F)||24.9 °C (76.8 °F)||23.8 °C (74.8 °F)||21.7 °C (71.1 °F)||18.8 °C (65.8 °F)||16.2 °C (61.2 °F)|
Bizerte's economy is very diverse. There are several military bases and year-round tourism. As a tourist centre the region is however not as popular as the eastern coast of Tunisia. There is manufacturing (textile, auto parts, cookware), fishing, fruits and vegetables, and wheat.
Hippo Diarrhytus is a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1989–2002 it was held by Mgr. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, then by Mgr. Jose Paala Salazar, O.P. in 2002–2004 and by Mrg. Manfred Grothe]since October 14, 2004. The city and see of Hippo Diarrhytus should not be confused with those of Hippo Regius where Saint Augustine of Hippo was the bishop.
After the Serbian army's retreat through Albania in 1915, during the World War I, part of the army was transported by the French navy to their naval base in Bizerte. Serbian soldiers, and a small number of civilians, arrived in Bizerte on three occasions. In December 1915 and early 1916, after the Albanian Golgotha, then later in 1916 after the first clashes on the Salonica Front in Greece and in the early 1917 when Serbian volunteers began to gather in Bizerte. During the entire war, the soldiers were transported to the Salonica Front while the wounded were transported back to Tunisia. It is estimated that over 60,000 Serbian soldiers passed through the camp. The training of the volunteers was organized in the camp, education of the disabled but also the cultural events. Citizens of Bizerte, French soldiers and administration were highly obliging to the Serbs, especially the Bizerte governor, admiral Émile Guépratte. He was involved in the care of the soldiers on daily basis and organized ceremonial greetings for every ship upon arrival. The last Serbian soldiers left Bizerte on 18 August 1919. Admiral Guépratte directly disobeyed the order from the French High Command by which he was ordered to dislocate Serbs into the Sahara's hinterland. When Guépratte visited Belgrade for the first time in 1930, he was awaited by the crowd which carried the admiral on their shoulders from the Belgrade Main railway station to the Slavija Square. The street where the admiral was carried, today bears his name (Serbian: Улица адмирала Гепрата, translit. Admiral Guépratte Street).
In the Northern Africa, Serbian wounded soldiers were treated in the hospitals in Bizerte, Tunis, Sousse, Sidi Abdala, Algiers, Oran and Annaba. From December 1915 to August 1919, a total of 41,153 Serbian soldiers were treated. In Tunisian hospitals, 833 soldiers died (typhus, malaria, wounds, hunger and frostbites). In Sidi Abdala, local population helped the Serbs providing food, medicines and nurture. A total of 1,722 people died there.
The dead in Bizerte, Sous and Tunis were buried in the memorial ossuary on the Christian cemetery in Bizerte. Those who died in Sidi Abdala were interred on the joint French-Serbian military cemetery. Those two cemeteries are the largest of all in Northern Africa where Serbian soldiers were buried - a total of 24 cemeteries in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, with 3,005 buried soldiers.
Bizerte is twinned with:
Aousja also spelled Ousja or Aousdja (Tunisian Arabic: عوسجة) is a small town and commune located in Ghar El Melh district in the Bizerte Governorate of northern Tunisia, between El Alia and Ras Jebel, 48 kilometers north of Tunis. As of 2014 it had a population of 5126 inhabitants.60% of the male population of Aousja works in the culture of potatoes, their average salary being about 180 dinars per month. Since 1998 a potato festival has been held annually in July, to the producer of the largest potato is awarded.
Furthermore, 35% of women work in the textile industry. Their salary average is about 100 dinars per month.Bizerte-Sidi Ahmed Air Base
Bizerte-Sidi Ahmed Air Base (ICAO: DTTB) is a Tunisian Air Force base located approximately 7 km west of Menzel Abderhaman, and 9 km west-southwest of Bizerte.
Units stationed at the base are:
No. 11 SquadronJet trainer squadron, Aermacchi MB-326No. 15 SquadronFighter squadron, Northrop F-5 Tiger/TigerIINo. 21 Squadron
Transport squadron, C-130 Hercules, Let L-410 Turbolet, G-222Bizerte Governorate
Bizerte Governorate (Arabic: ولاية بنزرت Wilāyat Benzart pronounced [bɑnˈzɑrt]) is the northernmost of the 24 governorates of Tunisia. It is in northern Tunisia, approximately rectangular and having a long north coast. It covers an area of 3,750 km² including two large lakes, one coastal hence saline and one freshwater being the World Heritage Site, Ichkeul lake. Its population was 568,219 as at the 2014 census. The capital is Bizerte which stands principally on inlet between Bizerte lake and the Mediterranean. The offshore Galite Islands are part of the governorate.Bizerte crisis
The Bizerte Crisis (French: Crise de Bizerte, Arabic: أحداث بنزرت ʾAḥdāth Bīzart) occurred in July 1961 when Tunisia imposed a blockade on the French naval base at Bizerte, Tunisia, hoping to force its evacuation. The crisis culminated in a three-day battle between French and Tunisian forces that left some 630 Tunisians and 24 French dead and eventually led to France ceding the city and naval base to Tunisia in 1963.Breguet Br.521 Bizerte
The Breguet Br.521 Bizerte was a long-range military reconnaissance flying boat built by the French aviation company Breguet.CA Bizertin
Club Athlétique Bizertin (Arabic: النادي الرياضي البنزرتي) or CAB is a football club from Bizerte in Tunisia. It was founded on June 20, 1928.
CA Bizertin have won the Tunisian League four times, the Tunisian Cup three times, the Tunisian League Cup once and became the first Tunisian club to win an African trophy the CAF Cup Winners' Cup in 1988.Dar el Koudia Airfield
Dar el Koudia Airfield is an abandoned World War II military airfield in Tunisia, in the vicinity of Bizerte. It was used by the United States Army Air Force Twelfth Air Force during the North African Campaign. The airfield was used by the 310th Bombardment Group, flying B-25 Mitchells from the field between 6 June and 5 August 1943.
Today, the location of the airfield is undetermined, as urban expansion in the Bizerte area has erased evidence of the field.El Alia
El Alia is a town and commune in the Bizerte Governorate, Tunisia.
It was the ancient Uzalis in the Roman province of Africa Proconsularis, which became a Christian bishopric that is included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.It is not to be confused with El Alia Cemetery, which is in Algeria.Ghar el-Melh
Ghar el-Melh (Arabic: غارالملح, Ghar al-Milh, "Salt Grotto"), the classical Rusucmona and Castra Delia and colonial Porto Farina, is a town and former port on the southern side of Cape Farina in Bizerte Governorate, Tunisia. It is part of Tunisia's Sahel Region.Mateur
Mateur (Tunisian Arabic: ماطر Mater) is a town in northern Tunisia. It is located at around 37°2′24″N 9°39′59″E, close to the Lac Ichkeul National Park.Menzel Abderrahmane
Menzel Abderrahmane is a town and commune in the Bizerte Governorate, Tunisia. As of 2004 it had a population of 16,824.Menzel Abderrahmane (منزل عبد الرحمان) is a town about sixty miles north of Tunis on the north shore of Lake Bizerte. It is part of the town of Bizerte which it is separated only a few kilometers.
Attached to the Governorate of Bizerte, it belongs to the delegation of Menzel Jemil and is a municipality with 16,824 inhabitants in 2004 .
The city was founded in the second half of the tenth century by the Umayyads. It is characterized by the economic importance of manufacturing industry employs around 40% of the workforceMenzel Bourguiba
Menzel Bourguiba (Arabic: منزل بورقيبة, translit. Manzil Būrgībah, lit. 'House of Bourguiba'), formerly known as Ferryville, is a town located in the extreme north of Tunisia, about 60 km from Tunis, in the Bizerte Governorate.Menzel Jemil
Menzel Jemil (Tunisian Arabic: منزل جميل ) is a coastal town and municipality in north-eastern Tunisia, 60 km north of the capital, Tunis. Administratively it is located in the Menzel Jemil Delegation of the Bizerte Governorate. Geographically Menzel Jemil is located on the east side of the Bizerte Lagoon and it is now considered part of the city of Bizerte metropolitan area. The municipality had 41,343 inhabitants (As of 2014 census).Menzel Jemil means "The beautiful hostel" in Arabic. Remel beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Tunisia. It is also the panoramic view of the huge Remel forest.
Menzel Jemil has an important industrial zone where foreign and local firms are installed; most of them deal with textile industry and wiring. The town also has an important military base, owing to its strategic location in the far north of Tunisia. Most of the inhabitants are farmers or working overseas.Metline
Metline (Tunisian Arabic: الماتلين) is a commune and town on the Mediterranean coast, in the Bizerte Governorate of northern Tunisia. As of 2004, it had a population of 7,370. It is located approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Tunis, 28 kilometres (17 mi) southeast of Bizerte and 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) northwest of Ras Jebel. The commune of Metline occupies a peninsula extending between the mountains, the sea and the forest, with a coastline of more than 6 kilometres (3.7 mi). Cape Zebib is 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) to the northeast. The commune was created on May 3, 1967.Raf Raf
Raf Raf is a north eastern town and commune in the Bizerte Governorate, Tunisia. As of 2004 it had a population of 9,839.Ras Jebel
Ras Jebel, also known as Ras el-Djebel, is a town, commune, and archaeological site on Cap Sidi in the Bizerte Governorate of Tunisia.
The name of the city refers to the summit or end of the mountain, thus evoking the end of the Atlas Mountains.Sejnane
Sejnane (Tunisian Arabic: سجنان Sījnān) is a town and commune in the Bizerte Governorate, Tunisia. As of 2004 it had a population of 4737.Tinja, Tunisia
Tinja or Tindja (تينجة) is a town and commune (municipality) in the Bizerte Governorate, in northern Tunisia, on the shores of Lake Ichkeul. Its name derives from that of the ancient Roman era city of Thimida, a former bishopric which remains a Latin Catholic titular see.Tunisian Air Force
The Tunisian Air Force (El Quwat ej-Jawiya et'Tunsia) is one of the branches of the Tunisian Armed Forces.
|Climate data for Bizerte (1901–1960, extremes 1901–1992)|
|Record high °C (°F)||27.0
|Average high °C (°F)||15.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||11.3
|Average low °C (°F)||7.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−3.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||112
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||16||13||12||9||6||4||2||3||8||11||13||16||113|
|Average relative humidity (%)||83||80||78||78||75||70||68||69||75||78||83||83||77|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||142.6||163.9||217.0||237.0||303.8||330.0||384.4||356.5||267.0||207.7||153.0||133.3||2,896.2|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||4.6||5.8||7.0||7.9||9.8||11.0||12.4||11.5||8.9||6.7||5.1||4.3||7.9|
|Source #1: Deutscher Wetterdienst|
|Source #2: Arab Meteorology Book (humidity and sun)|