A real Ancient Roman City – this is how Dugga can be characterized, the majestic ruins of which earned her the fame of one of the best preserved archaeological parks not only in Tunisia, but throughout Proconsular Africa, the ancient province of Rome. The uniqueness of Dugga was recognized by UNESCO, and in 1997 this place was included in the World Cultural Heritage List. Located in the central part of the country, on the plateau of the central Tell, the ruins of Dugga, despite their remoteness from the coast, invariably attract groups of tourists, and there really is something to see here. Check Andyeducation to learn more about Tunisia.
How to get to Dugga
- The best way is as part of an organized tour. Russian tour operators offer a one-day trip to Dugga, sometimes with a passing trip to the town of Zaguan and a visit to the Temple of Water. The cost of the tour is about 145 TND, this amount includes lunch at the Duggi tourist restaurant. The tour of the archaeological park under the guidance of a guide is about 3 hours.
- renting a car. Focus on the cost of 85-90 TND per day for an economy class car plus gasoline costs. The road is not very good, but without obvious potholes. The nearest resort to Dugga is Hammamet, also easily accessible from the city of Tunis.
- it is not recommended to count on public transport: buses and minibuses do not come directly to Dugga, their nearest stop is the city of Tebursuk, 8 km to the north, from where you can get to Dugga by an ordinary yellow taxi. Shuttle buses run to Tebursuk from Tunis, Le Kef and Beja, which, in turn, still need to be reached from coastal resort towns.
Weather forecast for Dougga
At least a three-hour walk through the archaeological park is best left on one of the cool days. At the peak of the summer heat, it’s better not to go here: there is absolutely no saving shade in Dugga, and in July-August it’s easy to fall into prostration here not so much from imperial grandeur as from breathtaking heat. As an option, arrive in a rented car around 8 am in order to have time to see everything before noon.
There are no accommodation options directly in Dugga and the surrounding area – people come here on an excursion, and not on vacation. The nearest acceptable quality hotels are in Hammamet and the city of Tunisia.
Where to dine in Dougga
The only possibility is in a tourist restaurant near the main entrance. For a fixed fee, you will be offered an unlimited number of approaches to the buffet, drinks are paid separately. Please note that the restaurant is closed early in the morning and during the low season. Another option is to buy a sandwich on the way to Dugga or take food with you when leaving the hotel.
3 things to do in Dougga
- To recite something from William of our Shakespeare on the stage of a magnificent Roman amphitheater.
- Visit Latrinia – an ancient toilet with 12 seats.
- Take a picture next to the eloquent sign to the city brothel.
Entertainment and attractions Dougga
In Dugga, there are an abundance of ruins of ancient buildings of all times, appointments and layouts. At the very beginning of the excursion route is the Duggi amphitheater, built in 199 AD. e. one of the wealthy in the city. Accommodating 3.5 thousand spectators, it still serves as the venue for the annual theater festival.
The center of the archaeological park is the forum and the Square of the Winds (on the rosette carved in marble, you can read the names of the twelve winds, among them Africanus, known to us as the sirocco). The famous temple rises right there – the Capitol, the “face” of Dugga – a massive portico, 8-meter solid columns and three niches for the statues of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.
There is absolutely no saving shadow in Dugga, and in July-August it is easy to fall into prostration here not so much from imperial grandeur, but from breathtaking heat.
A little lower are the Baths of Caracalla and the remains of numerous villas of wealthy citizens (some of them feature wonderful mosaics). The indisputable hit is the latrines, public toilets for 12 places arranged in the form of a semicircle to make it more convenient to conduct philosophical conversations, and the trifolium, an urban brothel.
The undisputed masterpieces include the ancient Punic mausoleum (II century BC), the only monument of its kind in Tunisia, and at the same time perfectly preserved.
There are 21 temples in Dugga from different periods – from the Roman Temple of Minerva to the Church of Victoria, built during the era of the Vandal invasion of North Africa. In a word, almost certainly there will be more sights than strength to see them all. When entering the park, it is recommended to purchase a map and decide on the optimal and, most importantly, feasible route.
If you are visiting Dugga not as part of an organized tour, you can use the services of local guides. One of them, Khedi bel Larbi, is a local landmark: a 70-year-old old man with youthful agility will lead you from building to building and recite La Fontaine’s fables from the amphitheater stage.
At the end of July, a theater festival interspersed with concert evenings takes place in the ancient Roman amphitheater of Duggi, and the entourage here is more significant than the action itself.