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Trip Planner Africa  /  Tunisia  /  Mahdia Governorate

Mahdia Governorate

4.2
Ruins · Beaches · History Museums
Mahdia Governorate is in central-eastern Tunisia, named after its largest town, its administrative centre. It comprises an area of coastal relative lowlands and is one of the twenty-four governorates (provinces). It covers an area of 2,966 km², extends further inland than its coastal length and has a population of 410,812 (as at the 2014 census). Three districts neighbour, clockwise from south, Sfax, Kairouan and Sousse Governorates.Economic summaryMahdia, the administrative centre, is a coastal resort with prominent weaving and fish processing industries.The other coastal urban centre is the small town of Chebba, on the headland of a bay. Ksour Essef is midway between these towns and approximately 2.5 km inland. El Djem is 13 km inland and a mid-sized town on a major crossroads of roads in the district and having Tunisia's main north-south railway. The nearest international airport is connected by road and rail and is 15 km north of Mahdia (the town), Monastir Habib Bourguiba International Airport.Synopsis of historyThe two main coastal cities are of historic note to Greek, Roman, and early Muslim societies. They include the Mahdia shipwreck – a sunken ship found off Mahdia's shore, containing Greek art treasures – dated to about 80 BC, the early part of Roman rule in this region. The old part of Mahdia corresponds to the Roman city called Aphrodisium and, later, called Africa (a name perhaps derived from the older name), or Cape Africa.
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