Tunisia / Cities and Towns /
Town in northwestern Tunisia with about 30,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), situated on the Mediterranean Sea, on the foot of the Khroumirie Mountains.
The Genoese Castle of Tabarka.
The economy is based on fishing, farming, cork growing and tourism.
Although isolated from the rest of Tunisia, Tabarka has close links with Algeria, 15 km to the west. It has both road and railway connections with the rest of Tunisia, as well as an airport.
Tabarka is a beautiful town, with white houses with slanted roofs with red tiles. There are some colonial houses, and some small Roman ruins in town.
5th century BCE: Founded by the Phoenicians as Thabraca, but it is likely that there had been a Berber settlement here prior to this.
2nd century: Under Roman control, Thabraca is the shipping port for Chemtou marble excavated in the southern parts of the mountains.
3rd century CE: Thabraca becomes an important centre for Christianity.
7th century: Falls to the Muslims after long time resistance.
1542: The island off Tabarka is bought by the Genoese, and a fort is established here.
1741: The Bey of Tunis takes control over Tabarka, and sells the Genoese stationed there into slavery.
1781: France obtains the sole rights to the coral beds of the coast from Tabarka to Tripoli.
1952: Habib Bourguiba is forced into exile here.