TUNIS - DECEMBER 2007
The BARDO Museum, located about six km away from the medina of Tunis in the suburb of Bardo, occupies the building of an old 13th century Hafside palace that has been restored and expanded to become a superb example of Arab-Moslem 17th and 18th century architecture. Created in 1882, the old palace of the Bey opened its doors as a museum on May 7, 1888, and was named Alaoui Museum, after the then ruling Bey Ali III. It houses the biggest museum of North Africa, famous for the collections of Roman mosaics taken from the ruins of Carthage, Hadrumète (current Sousse) and Utique, and is considered to be one of the best in the world! The tour around the three floors, thirty four rooms and seven sections of the museum is a tour through Tunisian history, dominated however by the Punic, Roman and Christian periods.
"ROMAN CARTHAGE - After the rooms dedicated to the Prehistoric era, the room of Roman Carthage, originally the palace's patio, shows large collection of statues coming from Carthage. One of those is the Venus Pudica: a statue showing the goddess of love hiding her breast and raising its toga"
"FORMER BEY'S APARTMENT - Stucco is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water, applied wet and hardened to a very dense solid. It is also used for decoration"
"CEILING of the Virgil room"
"CEILING of the Sousse room"
"CEILING - Painted ceiling of the Oudna Room, the palace's former dining room"
"SEVEN DAYS - Most of the mosaics were commissioned between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD to adorn the sumptuous villas of wealthy citizens throughout Tunisia"
"HUNTING SCENES - (Chasse à courre)"
"SOUSSE - Large floor mosaic of the Sousse room"
"THE TRIUMPH OF NEPTUNE - Tunisia can praise itself about the number and quality of its Roman mosaics. During the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the region became wealthy and the Tunisian mosaics began to develop their own distinct style, diverging from the original Italian influences. The Triumph of Neptune is a mosaic from La Chebba (near Sfax), of the late 2nd century and shows the god with the four seasons"
"THE DOMAIN OF MASTER JULIUS - The mosaic is a document about the life of an agricultural domain at the end of the 4th century. We see the master and his wife controlling farm life during the year"
"VIRGIL - The mosaic of Virgil (Sousse 3rd century) holding a volume of the Aeneid flanked by the Muses Clio (History) and Melpomene (Tragedy) is one of the masterpieces of the museum. It's so detailed that the inscription of the eighth line of the Aeneid is readable"
Alok passed this award to me with the kindest words! I'm thrilled!
Thank you Alok!