Ain Kroumir

In the 5th century BC the Phoenicians founded their trading post „Thabraca“ and pushed the original Berber inhabitants called Numidians away from the coastline. After the victory of the Romans, supported by the Numidians, against mighty Cartharge the entire region became the breadbasket and olive oil reservoir of the Roman Empire. From the 2nd century BC onward the region turned into an huge agricultural area with a sophisticated urban system and important towns such as Chemtou, Bulla Regia and Thuburnica, which were well-interconnected by long-distance roads. Via Thabraca the famous Chemtou marble as well as regional ore and timber were shipped to all parts of the Roman Empire. Due to its situation halfway between Hippo Regio and Cartharge, the two main places of activity of church father Augustine, a lot of early Christian parishes came into existence in the region after the 3rd century AD.

The Kroumirie ranks among the oldest areas of settlement in Tunisia. The first traces of mankind can be found in the dune fields and plains along the coastline.

After the short Byzantine reign between the 5th and the 7th centuries AD it was especially the massive Arab invasions of the 11th century AD that led to a dissolution of the agricultural landscape which had developed under Roman rule, opening the way for a recapture of the Kroumirie by its natural vegetation such as forests and maquis. The subsequent Spanish, Genoese and Ottoman invasions of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries AD did not alter this natural development as they concentrated on the coastal strips with its rich offshore coral base.

It was only after the French protectorate starting in 1883 that the Kroumirie again changed its outward appearance. Still today, a number of farms, railway stations, bridges, forester´s lodges, churches, military barracks, fortifications as well entire townscapes such as Beni M´tir and Ain Draham bear witness to French colonisation and land grabbing.

Following the foundation of modern Tunisia under the first president Habib Bourghiba in 1956, the region fell behind markedly in comparison with the rapidly developing Eastern coast of the country. This downward trend continued under the rule of Boughiba´s follower Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. Unfortunately, not even the first democratic government dominated by the islamist Ennahda party has started to counteract the region´s underdevelopment - with increasingly negative effects for the natural environment such as more bird hunting and forest fires, extensive forest grazing and a rapid growth of illegal lumbering and settlements in plain forest areas.

Ain Kroumir - Portal für Tourismus in Nord-Tunesien © Matthias Schwincke 2014 - Impressum