Theme Week Tunisia – Tozeur

Thursday, 24 August 2017 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Star Wars film location © Rais67

Star Wars film location © Rais67

Tozeur is an oasis and a city in south west Tunisia. The city is located North West of Chott el-Djerid, in between this Chott and the smaller Chott el-Gharsa. It is the capital of the Tozeur Governorate. It was the site of Ancient city and former bishopric Tusuros, which remains a Latin Catholic titular see. During the Romans and Byzantine empires and in the Vandal kingdom, Tozeur was the site of Tusuros, in the Roman province of Byzacena (originally part of Africa Proconsularis). Tozeur has a hot desert climate typical of the northern edge of the Sahara Desert. The annual average rainfall amount reaches 80.8 mm, and the annual mean temperature (day and night) reaches 22.2 °C, both making the city hot and dry year-round. The weather is usually good, settled and sunny throughout the course of the year. Summers are extremely hot with daily highs often exceeding 45 °C in the shade, and the sirocco is known to often make the thermometer rise above 50 °C still in the shade. During winters, it can sometimes freeze at night and just before the sunrise, as the temperature may drop below 0 °C.

With hundreds of thousands of palm trees, Tozeur is a large oasis. The dates that are exported from Tozeur are very well known. In ancient times, before the advent of motorized vehicles, the oasis was important for the transportation through the Sahara, which took place in caravans. The name of the city in antiquity was Tusuros, it was an important Roman outpost. In the medina (old city) of Tozeur, one can find traditional architecture, fashion and workmanship. Like elsewhere in Tunisia, the local population is generally very hospitable towards tourists, and there are also many tourist facilities. From Tozeur one can make trips on a camel, explore the Sahara Desert and get to know the Chott el-Djerid, where one can see Fata Morgana mirages.

Medina's entrance © flickr.com - Véronique Debord/cc-by-sa-2.0 Dar Cherait Museum © flickr.com - Gorik/cc-by-sa-2.0 Avenue Habib Bourguiba © BishkekRocks/cc-by-sa-3.0 Tozeur Market © aume Ollé/cc-by-2.5 Star Wars film location © Rais67
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Medina's entrance © flickr.com - Véronique Debord/cc-by-sa-2.0
Tozeur, in common with the surrounding Jerid region, is noted for its yellow/brownish brickwork as well as its fascinating patterns in simple and rich geometric designs form the façades of most buildings in the old city and the new tourist zone. The old town of Ouled El Hwadef is an exquisite example of the local brickwork. Mandated by the local government, the narrow streets, walls and façades were decorated with bricks, resulting in one of the most distinct and beautiful architectural styles of Tunisia. This work took more than 10 years to complete and the result is a must-see.

Although still the largest part of the local economy, dates and farming are becoming less appealing to the young, preferring the ‘fun’ and unstable business of tourism and contact with westerners. Tourism is heavily developed and promoted, and Tozeur is considered a center of “desert tourism”. This becomes very evident if one visits the city during the International Festival of Oasis in November/December of every year. Tozeur was used as a filming location for the Star Wars saga and Raiders of The Lost Ark (specifically Sidi Bouhlel canyon outside the town and the salt-flats of nearby Nefta). Lucasfilm also built an entire set a few kilometers North-West of Tozeur in the middle of the desert. This set acted as Mos Espa in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. The buildings are still there and can be visited. The English Patient (9 Oscars) with Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas was partially filmed outside Tozeur.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on discovertunisia.com – Tozeur, Wikivoyage Tozeur and Wikipedia Tozeur. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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