Temples des Eaux

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Zaghouan is dominated by Zaghouan Mountain. It is a clean and prosperous town. A narrow street leads past the government buildings surrounded by razor wire and armed guards, to Temples des Eaux which supplied the water to Carthage by aqueduct.

It is a beautiful site at the base of the mountain above the town. The Temples des Eaux are now a park with trees, grass and a cafe. At the entrance are partially excavated remains with conduit running through them.

Le Petit Basin is rectangular shape with low stone walls and steps leading down to area with the remains of a bath or fountain. Le Grand Basin is an impressive structure. There are two sets of stairs on either side of the conduit which is the start of the aqueduct carrying water to Carthage. Above is a semi circular courtyard surrounded by a wall with arches and 12 niches which would have held statues thought to represent the months. This was originally colonnaded with arches but none left. The water source is at the centre of the wall in a large recess. It now has a clear plastic cover which you can peer through for a glimpse of the water below.

The road between Zaghouan and Bir Halima picks up the conduit. This looks like a rough masonry channel which runs along a bank beside the road. It goes across small bridges as it crosses water courses. The best is seen just outside Bir Halima on the Zaghouan side where there is a small parking area.

This doesn’t rank among the top ten Roman sites but is worth searching out if you are in the area.

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