With no dominate ruler the Christian Spanish and Islamic Ottomans fought for control in the 1500s with Turkey controlling Tunisia until their power also waned and the Husseinite dynasty came to rule an independent Tunisia.Tunisia remained independent until France came on to the scene at first controlling the nation unofficially through a series of treaties and the moving in of forces, initially to put down uprisings.Tunisia is now a true Republic and elections that were judged free and fair took place in October 2011 and a new constitution has been drafted.The majority of Tunisians are of Arab and Berber origin though it is inevitable that there will still be Roman, Vandal, Turk and Phoenician blood mixed in for many natives.The Mosque of Three Doors is also worth visiting though tourists can only visit the outside.The classic Medina is worth walking around and filled in for Cairo in Indiana Jones and the Raider s of the Lost Ark.Though there were other Phoenician cities that remained independent the Carthaginian empire started to spread and flourish, absorbing many other cities.
Religion follows a similar balance with 98% of the population Muslims, as well as around 1% Christians and 1% Jewish; of those giving their religion as Muslim the majority are Sunnis.
Revolution in Tunisia may have been overdue but when it came it was relatively peaceful as has been the transition to a democracy meaning that the tourism industry in the country is stronger than ever, the coverage having possibly even highlighted Tunisia to potential tourists as a beautiful and progressive nation with a long and fascinating history.
Tourism in the country is well developed and people welcoming, even in smaller towns and villages who see less visitors.
Of course the beautiful, usually sandy, coastline is a major attraction but the interior of the country going down to the edges of the Sahara and the across to the Atlas mountains should also be explored by those with a sense of adventure and there is enough to keep history buffs transfixed for weeks.
The first thriving centres of culture in Tunisia were the Phoenician cities with Carthage founded in 814BC.