Sunday, September 8, 2013


Cathedral of St. Louis
Tunis/Carthage, Tunisia

"In the late 19th century, Hussein II Bey authorised the French consul-general to build a cathedral on the site of ancient Carthage, and to take all the land necessary for the project. The consul charged his son Jules, with this duty and having closely examined possible sites, he concluded that the chapel ought to be built on Byrsa Hill, in the centre of the Punic acropolis, where the temple of Aesculapius was once located.

"King Louis-Philippe approved the project. The architect chosen conceived a building of modest proportions that contained a mix of Gothic and Byzantine styles. In any case, he succeeded in giving it the look of a rich marabout similar to the royal chapel at Dreux. A cross, the only one standing at that time in Tunisia, topped the building. Descendants of crusaders' families, and companions of the sovereign, helped finance the construction.

"Built between 1884 and 1890, under the French protectorate, the cathedral acquired primacy for all of Africa when the title of primate of Africa was restored for the benefit of Cardinal Lavigerie, titular of the Archdioceses of Algiers and Carthage. The building was consecrated with great pomp in the presence of numerous dignitaries." (Link 2.)

The cathedral of Saint Louis, which crowns the hill is now a cultural center. It is near the   national museum of Carthage which holds an impressive collection of Punic statues, steles and urns .  If you walk down to the bottom of the wide staircase on the other side of the parking lot in front of the cathedral parts of the walls of Carthage are exposed: you can touch this part of history that is 2000 years old.

Photo: Copy of Carthage post card taken in April 2010 by SW.
Link 1:,_Carthage
Link 2:

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