TUNIS. The capital of Tunis. It is situated near the southwestern extremity of the Lake of Tunis, about three miles from the ruins I if ancient Carthage (Slap: Africa, F 1). The lagoon or Lake of Tunis is shallow, and com municates with the Gulf of Tunis, an inlet of the Mediterranean, by a narrow strait known as the channel of Goletta. The gulf itself is 45 miles broad at the entrance. The town occupies rising ground, and both the city proper and the suburbs are surrounded by walls. The streets of the inner town are narrow. unpaved, and dirty, but the bazaars are well fnrnished, and many- of the mosques are splendid. par ticularly the Mosque of Yussuf. The palace of the bey is probably the finest building in Tunis. The citadel, begun by Charles V. and finished by Don John of Austria, is interesting from its collection of old arms. The newer French or foreign quarter, established since 1893, has a European aspect. The city contains a Mohammedan university and a national museum of arts and antiquities. Water is supplied by
means of a restored ancient aqueduct from Jebel Zaghwan. Tunis is the commercial centre of the State, and carries on an important trade with Europe and Central Africa. Ocean-going vessels reach the town directly by means of a canal opened in 1893. Tunis has silk and woolen manufactures of shawls, tapestries. mantles, burnooses. caps, turbans, colored cloths; also leather, soap, wax, and olive oil, all of which it exports. together with grain, fruits, cattle, fish, ivory, gold dust, coral, etc. The climate is un healthful.
Tunis (ancient Tunes) was a Carthaginian city. frequently mentioned in connection with the Punic wars. it became important under the Arabs. (See Tux's. Protectorate.) The popu lation is estimated at about 170.000, of which 50,000 are Europeans and 40,000 Jews.