The Bardo Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

The Bardo Museum

Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia

The Bardo Museum is an archaeological museum in Tunisia most renowned for its Roman mosaic collection.

Antara Bate

27 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About The Bardo Museum

The Bardo Museum (Le Musee National du Bardo) in Tunis is Tunisia’s national archaeological museum and contains artefacts from throughout the country’s history.

The Bardo Museum history

The Bardo Museum’s building has a long history of its own, housed in an imposing palace complex. Originally built during the Hafside Dynasty in the 13th century, the palace was subsequently renovated in the 17th and 18th centuries.

From prehistoric items to Punic ceremonial artefacts believed to be connected with practices of human sacrifice and right through to art from the Islamic era, the Bardo Museum offers a great overview of Tunisia’s past and the development of its culture.

The most celebrated exhibit at the Bardo Museum is its collection of Roman mosaics. Mostly dating from the second and third centuries, but going up to the seventh century AD, this collection has been amassed from Tunisia’s many archaeological sites, including El Jem, Dougga and Sousse.

Vibrant and intricate, the mosaics at the Bardo Museum depict everything from nautical scenes of boats and fish to images of deities and legends. One of the most famous mosaics is that of Virgil shown between the Muse of Tragedy and the Muse of History.

The Roman items do not stop at these famous mosaics however. Visitors can see numerous Roman sculptures and artefacts, many from Roman Carthage.

The Bardo Museum today

The original palace buildings of the museum now connect with a dramatic contemporary annexe, which has doubled the exhibition space. The Bardo Museum also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Tunisia.

Getting to the Bardo Museum

The Bardo is 4km northwest of the city centre of Tunis. Take métro léger line 4 to the Bardo stop, or opt for a taxi.

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