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City (pop., 2004: 728,453), capital of Tunisia. It is situated on Tunis Lake, an inlet of the Gulf of Tunis; its port, La Goulette (Halq al-Wadi), is 6 mi (10 km) to the northeast. Founded by Libyans, it was later a small town under Carthage; it became important after the Muslim conquest in the 7th century AD. It was a religious centre during the Aghlabid dynasty (9th century) and reached its greatest prosperity under the Hafsid dynasty (13th century). The Spanish and Ottomans controlled it during the 16th century, and it was occupied by the Germans in 1942. It was made the national capital when Tunisia gained independence from France in 1956. It produces textiles, carpets, and olive oil and has metallurgical industries. Tourism is also important. The city's historic centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Tunis, visit Britannica.com.