Carthaginian Ruins and Carthaginian Sites

If you’re looking to explore Carthaginian ruins and Carthaginian sites and want to find the best places to view the history of the Carthaginian Empire then you can explore our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.

There’s a great selection of Carthaginian ruins and Carthaginian sites and you can plan some fantastic things to see on your travels. Once you’ve explored the list of Carthaginian sites and selected those you wish to visit you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook. This indispensible holiday guide will help you make the most of your time exploring Carthaginian ruins and Carthaginian sites.

If you're planning on visiting the ancient city of Carthage itself, you may wish to explore our Carthage Sites Map.

Our database of Carthaginian historic sites is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other Carthaginian sites, remains or ruins, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

Carthage: Site Index

Photo by upyernoz (cc)

Byrsa Hill

Part of the Archaeological site of Carthage, Byrsa Hill contains a number of remains from the original Punic city of Carthage as well as the Carthage National Museum and St Louis Cathedral.

DID YOU KNOW?

Byrsa Hill forms part of the Archaeological site of Carthage and contains a number of interesting historical places to explore.

Once the ancient citadel of this powerful city, Byrsa Hill was the military centre of ancient Carthage and was besieged and destroyed by the Romans in 146BC. However, when the Romans rebuilt the city Byrsa Hill remained central to their administration and a number of important public buildings were constructed on the site.

Today, the principle attractions to see on Byrsa Hill are the Carthage National Museum and the ruins of the ancient Punic city - known as the Punic Quarter.

The museum contains a wealth of exhibitions and information about the history of Carthage, while the Punic Quarter - sometimes called "Hannibal’s neighbourhood" contains the ruins of a Carthaginian residential neighbourhood, complete with street grids and houses and a series of Punic tombs.

Also to be found on Byrsa Hill is the impressive 19th century St Louis Cathedral. Byrsa Hill features as one of our Top Tunisian Attractions.

Photo by Jörg Schulz (cc)

Cannae Battlefield

Cannae Battlefield is the location of Hannibal’s greatest victory in 216 BC over a huge Roman army led Consuls Varro and Paullus.

DID YOU KNOW?

Cannae Battlefield marks the site of the famous Battle of Cannae, fought in 216 BC between Hannibal of Carthage and a huge Roman army led by Consuls Varro and Paullus. It stands as Hannibal’s greatest victory and Rome’s greatest defeat. However, not even this massive loss of life stopped the Roman war machine from losing the battle but winning the war.

With Hannibal having already invaded Italy and defeated large Roman armies at both Trebbia and Trasimene, the Roman leadership was under significant pressure to turn the tide of war. To try and stop Hannibal, Rome gathered the biggest army it had ever put in the field: more than 80,000 men. Outnumbered two to one, Hannibal used a new and brilliant tactic, known today as double envelopment, and massacred the Romans.

One historian has compared the result to an atomic bomb: 80,000 men died that day, possibly the most casualties ever in a single battle. This defeat brought Rome closer to total collapse than at any time during its history.

The site has one monument to the battle of Cannae within the archaeological site of Cannae di Battaglia which itself is a village from the middle ages.

To find the monument you have to enter and walk to the furthest point of the site. There is a single column which commemorates the battle. If you stand at this column and look north over the countryside, this is the area where most historians feel the battle was fought. The entrance to the site has some relevant information and memorabilia.

Contributed by Sam Wood, Ride and Seek Historical Bike Tours

Photo by aymen hs (cc)

Carthage

The most famous of all Carthaginian ruins and Carthaginian sites, Carthage was once one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world. Today, its ruins can be found on the outskirts of modern Tunis.

DID YOU KNOW?

Carthage was one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world and spawned the powerful Carthaginian Empire which dominated much of the western Mediterranean. The ruins of this famed city can be found on the outskirts of modern day Tunis.

Carthage itself was central to the history of the ancient world. Legend states that the city was founded by the Phoenician Queen Dido in the 9th Century BC and the ancient metropolis certainly rose to prominence over the next 500 years.

However, three long and brutal wars with Rome, known as the Punic Wars, eventually led to the downfall and destruction of Carthage in 146BC. It is said the Romans salted the earth so nothing more could live on the site of the once-dominant city.

Having destroyed the Carthaginian Empire however, the Romans later realised the potential in the strategic location of the site. In the 1st Century AD they re-founded Carthage and it grew to become one of the most important cities of the Roman Empire.

As Rome’s power waned, Carthage was briefly captured by the Vandals in the 5th Century AD before Byzantine forces re-took the city. In 698AD, after many years of hard fighting, the city was finally captured by the forces of the Umayyad Caliphate who founded the new city of Tunis nearby, leaving the ancient metropolis to fade away.

Time has significantly taken its toll on the site and little remains of ancient Carthage today and much of what remains is spread over quite a broad area. The best way to begin exploring these ruins is probably by visiting Byrsa Hill and the Carthage Museum. The museum hosts a collection of Carthaginian (Punic) and Roman artifacts including marble sarcophagi and a model of Punic Carthage.

Other key points of interest include the impressive Antonine Baths, the Roman Amphitheater, Roman villas and reconstructed Roman theatre of Carthage. Among the best preserved Punic remains are the Magon Quarter, Punic Port and unnerving Sanctuary of Tophet.

You can explore all the sites of Carthage on our Carthage Sites Map feature and Carthage also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Tunisia.

Photo by nonanet (cc)

Carthage National Museum

Carthage National Museum contains a wide selection of artefacts and exhibitions from the Punic, Roman and Byzantine periods of Carthage. It is a good place to begin you exploration of the ruins of this ancient city.

DID YOU KNOW?

Carthage National Museum - sometimes simply called Carthage Museum - is one of the most important museums in Tunis and contains a range of interesting exhibitions and artefacts from the Carthaginian and Roman periods.

Amongst the many exhibits are displays examining life in ancient Carthage, the conflicts with the Roman Republic and the eventual destruction of the Punic city by Rome.

Also examined is the new Roman city and the Roman period itself as well as the story of Byzantine rule and the Arab conquest.

The museum includes a range of interesting finds, from jewellery, weaponry, tombs and funeral masks to Roman mosaics and day-to-day household items. Additionally, there is an interesting model of the Punic city.

Carthage National Museum is an excellent jumping off point for your exploration of the other sites of ancient Carthage, and provides stunning views over the ruins and the modern city.

Photo by Neil Rickards (cc)

Carthage Punic Port and Museum

The Carthage Punic Port and Museum hold the remains of the ancient military naval base of the Punic city of Carthage.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Carthage Punic Port and Punic Port Museum can be found in the area of the ancient Carthaginian harbour near modern day Tunis.

This ancient superpower built its reputation on its mastery of the seas and the ancient Port of Carthage would have once help over two hundred of the most powerful warships of the time.

Originally destroyed after the Roman capture of the city in 146BC, it was later revives by the Romans themselves to serve the growing commercial needs of the now-Roman city of Carthage.

Today there are a handful of remains and ruins on the site as well as the small Punic Port Museum which has a number of models reconstruction what the Punic Port would have looked like in its prime.

Photo by Sapphira (cc)

Djemila

Djemila in Algeria is the site of extensive Roman ruins of a former military base.

DID YOU KNOW?

Djemila in Algeria is an archaeological site housing the ruins of a UNESCO-inscribed Ancient Roman settlement. Founded under the name Cuicil, it is thought that Djemila was first established between 96 and 98 AD under the Emperor Nerva and occupied until the fifth or sixth century.

Constructed amidst mountainous terrain, Djemila was built to fit in with its surroundings and, as it expanded in the second century, amassed an impressive set of buildings. Like Timgad, Djemila was probably the home of a military base.

Today, Djemila houses a wealth of Ancient Roman ruins such as those of the Arch of Caracalla, a well-preserved bath complex, temples such as the Temple of Venus Genitrix and the theatre built by Emperor Antoninus Pius. Djemila has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982.

Photo by NH53 (cc)

Leptis Magna

Leptis Magna was once one of the most important African cities of the Roman Empire and is now an impressive Carthaginian archaeological site in Tripoli.

DID YOU KNOW?

Leptis Magna (Lepcis Magna) is an incredibly well preserved archaeological site in Tripoli, Libya. Originally founded by the Phoenicians as the port of Lpgy in the first millennium BC, Leptis Magna later became part of the Carthaginian Empire and was then incorporated into the Roman Empire in 46 BC.

Most of the remaining structures now found at the site of Leptis Magna are indeed Roman and originate from the reign of Septimius Severus. Emperor of Rome from 193 AD, Severus was born in Leptis Magna and, as such, he invested heavily in developing his home city, transforming it into one of the most important of Africa’s Roman cities. Leptis Magna became a beautiful place and a marvel of Severan planning.

Among the many remains found in Severus' home city, the marketplace, Severan Basilica, the Forum, the Amphitheatre and the Severan Arch represent some of the best preserved Roman sites in the Mediterranean. These sites remain visible at the site despite the various invasions that befell Leptis Magna from the fourth century onwards, finally falling to the Hilalians in the eleventh century. Today, Leptis Magna is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Check the official advice of your country’s foreign office before considering travelling to Libya.

Nora Archaeological Site

One of many Carthaginian ruins in Sardinia, the Nora Archaeological Site houses ancient Phoenician, Carthaginian, and Roman ruins.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Nora Archaeological Site in Sardinia contains mostly Ancient Roman ruins, but was founded in at least the 8th century BC by the Phoenicians. Some Phoenician ruins can be seen, including a temple and some fortifications.

Prior to Phoenician settlement, Nora may have even previously been a nuraghi site (the people of Sardinia credited with building hundreds of defensive structures). Conquered at one time by the Carthaginians, Nora became a Roman settlement in the third century BC.

Amongst the finds at the Nora Archaeological Site are a Roman theatre, a series of mosaics, baths complexes and numerous other structures.

Photo by archer10 (Dennis) (cc)

Sanctuary of Tophet

The Sanctuary of Tophet is an ancient Cartheginian burial site containing a vast number of children’s graves.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Sanctuary of Tophet holds the remains of a vast number of children’s graves dating back to the Punic period of Carthage.

Many historians have speculated that the Carthaginians practised child-sacrifice during times of serious hardship, though this point is hotly disputed.

Today this eerie site can be found near the Punic Port and the Sanctuary of Tophet also contains a Roman necropolis.

Su Nuraxi di Barumini

Su Nuraxi di Barumini is a pretty UNESCO-listed prehistoric site in Sardinia and one of the island’s many nuraghe. It also contains some Carthaginian ruins.

DID YOU KNOW?

Su Nuraxi di Barumini is a prime example of one of Sardinia’s many nuraghe structures.

Little is known about the nuraghe, except that they are thought to have been built from the Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age (circa 1500-800BC) by the island’s inhabitants as a form of defence, particularly against the Carthaginians.

Comprised of a series of stone structures, Su Nuraxi di Barumini became a settlement in its own right. It was attacked by the Carthaginians in the seventh century BC, but continued to be inhabited up to as late as the third century AD. This even post dated the Roman conquest of Sardinia.

Today, Su Nuraxi di Barumini is still an impressive site, the main highlight of which is its central stone tower. Typically of a nuraghe, this was constructed without the use of bonding materials such as mortar, demonstrating a sophisticated level of engineering.

Many other structures have been identified at Su Nuraxi di Barumini, including homes, a theatre and temples, all seemingly intertwined in what looks like a complex mosaic.

Tharros

Tharros, in Sardinia, was founded by the Phoenicians and contains mostly Roman and Carthaginian ruins.

DID YOU KNOW?

Tharros is an archaeological site in Sardinia brimming with centuries of history.

Founded in the eighth century BC by the Phoenicians, Tharros would be inhabited by the Carthaginians and the Romans, leaving behind a series of ancient structures, especially its two standing Corinthian columns.

Among the other highlights of the ruins at Tharros are the remains of the Carthaginian tophet – a sacred space sometimes used for burials – as well as the remains of the thermal baths and the foundations of temples, houses and shops.

Later abandoned due to Saracen raids, Tharros is one of Sardinia’s best ancient sites.

The Bardo Museum

The Bardo Museum is an archaeological museum in Tunisia most renowned for its Roman mosaic collection and Carthaginian exhibitions.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Bardo Museum (Le Musee National du Bardo) in Tunis is Tunisia’s national archaeological museum and contains artefacts from throughout the country’s history.

From prehistoric items to Punic ceremonial artefacts believed to be connected with practices of human sacrifice and right through to art from the Islamic era, the Bardo Museum offers a great overview of Tunisia’s past and the development of its culture.

The most celebrated exhibit at the Bardo Museum is its collection of Roman mosaics. Mostly dating from the second and third centuries, but going up to the seventh century AD, this collection has been amassed from Tunisia’s many archaeological sites, including El Jem, Dougga and Sousse.

Vibrant and intricate, the mosaics at the Bardo Museum depict everything from nautical scenes of boats and fish to images of deities and legends. One of the most famous mosaics is that of Virgil shown between the Muse of Tragedy and the Muse of History.

The Roman items do not stop at these famous mosaics however. Visitors can see numerous Roman sculptures and artefacts, many from Roman Carthage.

The Bardo Museum’s building has a long history of its own, having been a Hafside Dynasty palace originally built in the thirteenth century and renovated in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Bardo Museum also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Tunisia.

Photo by Erik Pitti (cc)

The Magon Quarter

The Magon Quarter in Carthage holds the remains of a small Punic residential site and section of the ancient defensive wall.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Magon Quarter contains the remains of a small Punic residential area dating back to the Carthaginian city of Carthage.

The Magon Quarter is relatively small and there aren’t many remains to see, though the site does contain a section of the ancient city wall, dating back to the fifth century BC.

Photo by niai (cc)

Trasimene Battlefield

Trasimene Battlefield is the location of major defeat of the Roman army by Hannibal during the Second Punic War.

DID YOU KNOW?

Trasimene Battlefield marks the site of the Battle of Trasimene, fought in 217 BC between Hannibal of Carthage and the Consul Flaminius of Rome. It was one of the major battles of the Second Punic War and a crushing defeat for Rome.

During the encounter, Hannibal - a gifted strategist - tricked the Roman consul into following him along the northern side of Lake Trasimene through thick fog. Meanwhile the Carthaginian general had ranged his troops along the slope above the lake's edge where Flaminius marched, and the Roman army walked straight into a trap. The Romans were attacked on all sides and, with no visibility, re-organising and issuing effective orders was impossible.

As the trap was sprung, the Romans were in complete disarray and Polybius says “death took them unawares while they were still wondering what to do” (III. 84). The Romans were slaughtered where they stood or forced back into Lake Trasimene where they were picked off by the cavalry or drowned. Fifteen thousand Romans died, Flaminius among them.

Today there are picture boards describing the events of the battle all along the former coast of Lake starting from the coordinates marked on the map. Winding to Sanguineto (named after the battle literally meaning ‘running with blood’) and on to Tuoro.

It is a beautiful area with many fantastic towns within easy reach including Cortona and Perugia and there are many Roman/Hanniballic references in the area, such as streets being named after the historical figures involved. Furthermore excavations both terrestrial and underwater are on-going here to locate the exact site of the battle.

Contributed by Sam Wood, Ride and Seek Historical Bike Tours

Photo by Dani4P (cc)

Trebbia Battlefield

Location of the first major battle of the Second Punic War between Hannibal and the Roman consuls Scipio and Longus.

DID YOU KNOW?

Trebbia Battlefield marks the location of the Battle of Trebbia, the first significant clash of the Second Punic War. Fought in 218 BC, it was a resounding defeat for the Roman armies under the consuls Scipio and Longus and a major victory for the great Carthaginian general Hannibal.

A resounding defeat for Rome, the Battle of Trebbia was the first real example of Hannibal’s ingenuity. Hannibal took advantage of the impetuous nature of the Roman consul Longus and drew him into a battle he had little chance to win. At first light, the Carthaginian general sent his Numidian cavalry in to action to harass the Roman camp and lure them out. Longus eagerly complied and sent his men across the swollen and freezing river towards the Carthaginian army. The Romans were now cold, wet and hungry (they hadn’t even had breakfast) and for these reasons they were perhaps beaten before they had even started to fight. They were so cold in fact, that they had trouble drawing their weapons when they reached the other side of the river after wading through its freezing rapids.

Waiting for the Romans on the other bank the Carthaginians were fresh, had breakfasted and had kept warm around their campfires. They had already gained the upper hand in the early engagements before Hannibal’s brother, Mago, sprung from his hiding spot - “a manouevre which threw the whole Roman army into confusion and dismay” (Polyibus III.74) and all was lost for the Romans.

The river is little more than a stream now, but the area is very atmospheric. A lovely green valley extends upriver - it so captivated Ernst Hemingway when he was here during World War II that the local sparkling water quotes him as describing it as ‘the most beautiful valley in the world.’

The exact location of Trebbia Battlefield on the river is not known, however it is thought to be somewhere north of Rivergaro. There are however numerous references to Hannibal and his passing including a Hannibal winery! A war elephant also stands as monument to the battle at the co-ordinates marked.

Contributed by Sam Wood, Ride and Seek Historical Bike Tours