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Tipaza Archaeological Park

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25 May 2019

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Tipaza Archaeological Park

Tipasa (Tipaza as it was known during the Roman era) is a sight of splendid aesthetic beauty. It is naturally blessed with pine trees that lead to a small beach and a blue sea. Its honey-toned sandstone walls, the amphitheater where naval battles were re-enacted and the remnants of markets where fish were gutted and sold are what puts Tipasa in the ranks of North Africa’s finest Roman sites

As you enter Tipasa, one of the first things you’ll notice is the amphitheater, which in ancient times was one of the main entertainment centers. Today, the surrounding structure is almost completely gone, but the oval wall of the area still paints a vivid picture where gladiator fights and naval battles were held in the 4th and 5th centuries. A little further from the Amphitheatre the street leads to the central point of the town, where the two main streets, the paved decumanus, and cardo Maximus meet.

If you stroll down the decumanus street to the left you will come to another ancient theatre. Much of this theatre is also ruined however, the props that supported the stage are still visible as is the slope that used to be covered with seating blocks. On the north side of this theatre, there is an area with Christian buildings and artifacts.

The religious complex here includes two basilica, tombs, and baths, all of which can be easily identified. The grand basilica was the largest Christian building in North Africa when it was finished in the 4th century. Along the shoreline, as you return back to the city, you’ll notice a cove which was specifically used for large villas and bath complexes. Among the ruins, you can still see the mosaics on the floor of some of these. On the cardo maximums, there is an unusually large house of 1000 sq meters called the Villa of Frescoes which was built at the height of Tipasa’s prosperity, in the 2nd century AD.