Bizerte

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Bizerte
بنزرت
City
Bizerte City Hall in Belgique Street area
Bizerte City Hall in Belgique Street area
Coat of arms of Bizerte
Coat of arms
Bizerte is located in Tunisia
Bizerte
Location in Tunisia
Coordinates: 37°16′28″N 9°52′26″E / 37.27444°N 9.87389°E / 37.27444; 9.87389
Country Tunisia
GovernorateBizerte Governorate
Government
 • TypeMayor
Area
 • Urban34[1] km2 (13.127 sq mi)
Elevation5 [2] m (16 ft)
Population (2004[1])
 • City114,371[1]
 • Density3.363/km2 (8.712/sq mi)
 • Metro401,144
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
Postal code7000
Area code(s)+216 (Tun) 72 (Bizerte)
Websitehttp://www.commune-bizerte.gov.tn
 
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Bizerte
بنزرت
City
Bizerte City Hall in Belgique Street area
Bizerte City Hall in Belgique Street area
Coat of arms of Bizerte
Coat of arms
Bizerte is located in Tunisia
Bizerte
Location in Tunisia
Coordinates: 37°16′28″N 9°52′26″E / 37.27444°N 9.87389°E / 37.27444; 9.87389
Country Tunisia
GovernorateBizerte Governorate
Government
 • TypeMayor
Area
 • Urban34[1] km2 (13.127 sq mi)
Elevation5 [2] m (16 ft)
Population (2004[1])
 • City114,371[1]
 • Density3.363/km2 (8.712/sq mi)
 • Metro401,144
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
Postal code7000
Area code(s)+216 (Tun) 72 (Bizerte)
Websitehttp://www.commune-bizerte.gov.tn

Bizerte (Arabic: بَنزَرِتْ Banzart‎, Berber: Benzert, Italian: Biserta ; historically, Latin: Hippo Diarrhytus and Hippo Zarytus, ancient Greek: Ἱππὼν διάρρυτος 'ippo diarrytos'), also known in English as Bizerta, is the capital city of Bizerte Governorate in Tunisia and the northernmost city in Africa. Located 65km (40mil) north of the capital Tunis, the city had 114,371 inhabitants in 2004.

History[edit]

Aerial view of Bizerte (October 2008)

Bizerte is known as the oldest and most European city in Tunisia. It was founded around 1000 BC by Semitic Phoenicians from Tyre . [3] It is also known as the last town to remain under French control after the rest of the country won its independence from France.

Phoenician trade routes 1200 BC – 539 BC
Phoenician ship carved on the face of a sarcophagus. 2nd century AD.

Historical names[edit]

Early history[edit]

Initially a small Phoenician harbor for maritime trading in the western Mediterranean. Located 25 km(15 mil)in the north of Utica and 50 km (31 mil) of Carthage, other cities founded by Phoenicians. Around 650 BC the city came under the influence of Carthage under the leadership of Queen Dido, after the defeat of Agathocles during the Punic Wars. The city was then occupied by the Romans, under the name of Hippo Diarrhytus

Roman mosaic with scenes of fishing and village life (Bardo National Museum,Tunisia)

Bizerte was successively conquered by the Arabs in 647, 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.

Later history[edit]

With the occupation of Tunisia in 1881, France gained control of Bizerte and built a large naval harbor 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.[6]

The moveable bridge of the Bizerte canal

During the Second World War, Bizerte was occupied by the German Army and was retaken by American troops 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.[7]

Areal view of Bizerte on 1959

Due to Bizerte's strategic location on the Mediterranean, France wanted to retain its naval base there. France accordingly kept control of the city even after Tunisia gained its independence in 1956. In 1961 Tunisian forces blockaded the Area of bizerte and demanded French withdrawal what was supposed to be a face off turned nasty when a French helicopter took off and was fired upon. This resulted in reinforcements being brought in and when these where fired upon, France took decisive and violent action against the brave but inferior Tunisian forces. Using state of the art weapons and decisive force the French took Bizerte and Menzel Bourguiba resulting in the loss of life during the three days of 700 Tunisians (1200 wounded) and 24 French (100 wounded).

The world was shocked at the severity of the attack and following meetings at the UN security council along with international pressure on France agreement was reached and the French military finally abandoned Bizerte on 15 October 1963.

Geography[edit]

Bizerte is located on the north coast of Tunisia, 65 kilometres (40 miles) north of the capital Tunis and 15 kilometres (9 miles) away from Cap Blanc the northernmost point in Africa, it lies along the Mediterranean coast at the mouth of a channel that links Lake Bizerte with the sea and its coasts are close to both Sardinia and sicily.

Bizerte is especially well known for the great and large beaches, like Sidi Salem, La Grotte, Rasenjela, and Al Rimel.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Bizerte (Bizerte city, 5 m(16 ft))
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)15.3
(59.5)
15.8
(60.4)
17.2
(63)
19.6
(67.3)
23.7
(74.7)
27.7
(81.9)
31.3
(88.3)
31.6
(88.9)
29
(84)
24.8
(76.6)
19.9
(67.8)
16.3
(61.3)
22.86
(73.15)
Average low °C (°F)6.9
(44.4)
7
(45)
7.7
(45.9)
9.7
(49.5)
12.6
(54.7)
16.4
(61.5)
19.1
(66.4)
20.1
(68.2)
18.3
(64.9)
14.8
(58.6)
10.7
(51.3)
8
(46)
12.6
(54.7)
Precipitation mm (inches)92
(3.62)
85
(3.35)
59
(2.32)
45
(1.77)
27
(1.06)
10
(0.39)
2
(0.08)
5
(0.2)
31
(1.22)
84
(3.31)
84
(3.31)
102
(4.02)
52.16
(2.0535)
Avg. precipitation days1413131174127111315111
Mean monthly sunshine hours1491622142433013303723442612201681462,910
Source: National Institute of Meteorology Tunisia[8]



Economy[edit]

Hightway A4 Bizerte/Tunis

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.

Miscellaneous[edit]

Old Port of Bizerte
Jebel Aïn Chouna

Titular see[edit]

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.

Notable residents[edit]

International relations[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Cooperation agreement[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c (French) Mnicipalité de Bizerte.
  2. ^ "Map of Bizerte, Geography". 
  3. ^ a b c d Dr Mahmoud ABIDI(french) (02-05-2008). "bizerteyahasra". bizerteyahasra.com. Retrieved 13-10-2013. 
  4. ^ a b Perseus Digital Library.
  5. ^ Hippo Zarytus(in Perseus Digital Library).
  6. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.877
  7. ^ "To Bizerte With The Ii Corps". History.army.mil. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  8. ^ "Bizerte city :Average conditions (1961-1990),( http://www.meteo.tn )". 
  9. ^ Morley Yachts (2009-07-29). "Goga Superyacht Marina". Gogamarina.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°16′N 9°52′E / 37.267°N 9.867°E / 37.267; 9.867