Little is known of the exact history of the ancient ruins of Sbeitla and few documents exist of the seminal years of this old Roman city. However, some of the buildings and ruins are exceptionally well preserved such as the Antonius Pius Arch, a main entrance gate to a large forum.
The temples are a curiosity and run contrary to the normal architectural style of Roman temples, which customarily unite the gods Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, as these temples are located in three separate buildings.
Sbeitla can be thought of as a classic example of efficient Roman construction and street planning that made little reference to the conventional design characteristics of the period. Excavations that were undertaken between 1907 and 1922 uncovered an area of ruins of approximately 600,000 square metres.
At least seven religious sites date back to the Christian period of the 5th and 6th centuries. It is thought that the three basilicas that lie beyond the temples were built on the foundations of former Roman temples. Even today, the excavation of this extensive area has not been completed as it is believed that two thirds of this ancient city has still to be discovered.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.