Sidi Khelifa Archaeological Site | Tunisia Travel Guide

The archaeological site of Sidi Khelifa is located a hundred kilometers south of Tunis, near Bouficha and attached to the governorate of Sousse. A rural town, Sidi Khelifa is located around the mausoleum of the eponymous patron saint who founded it in the 19th century. In the mid-1980s, this village was the subject of an original experiment by undergoing an extension according to ancestral architectural techniques and exclusively with local materials.

The archaeological site of Sidi Khelifa is a rural town located around the mausoleum of the eponymous patron saint who founded it in the 19th century. This town was the subject of an original experiment in the mid-1980s: an extension using ancestral architectural techniques and exclusively using local materials. (Have)

The town adjoins an ancient site: Pheradi Majus. The unearthed remains date from the 2nd and 3rd centuries. These are, in particular, the triumphal door – intact – which gives access to the forum lined with commercial premises, a nymphaeum where water welled up from a spring, a Capitoline temple, thermal baths, etc.

At the top of the wooded hill overlooking the site: the walls of a temple dedicated to Venus and transformed into a fortress during the Byzantine era. From there, the view extends to the sea and the foothills of the Dorsale.

This hidden paradise, discovered in 2003, adjoins an ancient site of Roman origin called Pheradi Majus, whose existence dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Thanks to a Latin text, the name of the city has been identified. It is a dedication to Neptune Augustus for the salvation of the Roman Emperor Antoin the Pious signed by a local notable by the name of Marcus Barigbalus Pheraditanus Majus. Before being abandoned around the 12th century, the city of Pheradi Majus became a municipality under Marc Aurèle, then a Roman colony.

The archaeological site of Sidi Khelifa has, in particular, the triumphal door giving access to the forum lined with commercial premises, a nymphaeum, a Capitoline temple, thermal baths, etc. When you are at the top, the beautiful view of the sea and the environment is extraordinary. At the top of the wooded hill overlooking the site, there are the walls of a temple dedicated to Venus. During the Byzantine period, this temple was transformed into a fortress.

Between the end of the 2nd century and the beginning of the 3rd century, the most important monuments of the archaeological site of Sidi Khelifa (Pheradi Majus) were built. We note in this regard:

* The Religious Complex: At a distance of 300m from the forum in the forest, this monument is made up of several temples built with large blocks of stone. It has only preserved the foundations comprising two floors of rooms and vaults. Completely disappeared, the upper floor was lit by three windows looking out to sea.

* The thermal baths: Cleared in 1972, the plan of the thermal baths is very simple, access is from the West. The thermal baths cover an area of ​​approximately 500m2. They include a vestibule, semicircular latrines, a large hall covered with mosaics, a frigidarium paved with mosaics with an apse basin, a tepidarium with a rectangular basin and a caldarium with two apses.

* The forum: Surrounded by porticos on three sides, the forum has a door in the form of an arch which rests on two upright legs flanked by two niches to house statues of deities.

* The nymphaeum: Indicated by a beautiful arcade with five arches housing five basins, the nymphaeum has a spring gushing from the bottom of one of the basins. The largest basin allows the evacuation of water to other buildings such as cisterns and terms.

* The market: It is an irregular rectangle with a courtyard surrounded by a paved portico. The shops are small in size and unequal in dimensions.

Sidi Khelifa in images

Sidi Khelifa in video

The archaeological site of Sidi Khelifa on the map