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Beja (Arabic: باجة‎, French: Béja, ) is a toun in Tunisie, Africae. It is the caipital o the Béja Govrenorate. It is locatit 105 km (saxty miles) frae Tunis, atween the Medjerdah River an the Mediterranean, against the fuithills o the Khroumire, the toun o Beja is situatit on the sides o Djebel Acheb, facin the greenin meadows, its white terraces an reid ruifs dominatit bi the imposin ruins o the auld Roman fortress.


Geographical features

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Famous for its fertile sile, Beja drew aw the maisters o the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians set up important tradin posts. Thair presence is felt throu numerous Punic necropolis which hae been unearthed in 1887. The Carthaginians, recognizing the importance of maintaining thair authority in this aurie, biggit a garrison an fortified the toun. Beja wis extremely desirable, nae anly acause of its fertile sile but acause of its geographic location. It wis at the doorway o the mountains an it wis the crossroad for Carthage an Tunis going toward Cirta an Hippone.


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The toun endured brutal assaults bi the Carthaginians, the Numidians, the Romans, an, later on, bi the Vandals. The Numidian keeng Jugurtha made the toun his governing headquarters. Oreeginally the toun wis named Waga, which became Vacca an then Vaga unner the Romans an eventually Badja unner the Arabs an Béja unner the French.

The Romans destroyed the auld Carthaginian citadel an replaced it wi a new ane; thay biggit fortifications that are still staundin the day. Unner the Roman domination, Beja became prosperous an wis the centre o a diocese. Accordin tae Sallust, who relates the details o the Jugurthine War atween Jugurtha an Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus tae possess Beja, Beja wis the wealthiest warehouse o the kinrick an the centre of intense commerce.

The toun wis taken an destroyed bi the Vandals. The citadel an ramparts war demolished. The abandoned toun remained in that state for a century until the arrival o the Byzantines. Thay renovated the fortress an teuk real pleasure in beautifying the toun.

Beginnin wi the 7t century, Beja wis unner Arab domination. Alang wi the rest of Tunisia, Béja wis annexed tae the Umayyad Caliphate during the Umayyad conquest of North Africa.

In 1880 Fraunce occupied Tunisia. On Apryle 24, 1881 Beja in its turn wis occupied bi the column led bi Logerot who haed arrived frae Algeria throu the Kef.

Beja remains a picturesque toun wi wide horizons, a healthy climate an rich an fertile sile. Anither distinctive featur is its faimily life, its traditional friendliness an hospitality towards foreigners.

Warld War II

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On November 16, 1942 a German military delegation came tae the toun tae gie the Mayor Jean Hugon a 24 oors ultimatum tae surrender the toun. As a reaction tae the ultimatum the latter informed the ceevil govrenor Mr Clement who in turn sent the message tae Algiers. The next day, November 17 the first parachutit Breetish battalion landit on the hills north o the toun. Thursday November 19 German planes bombed the toun for the first time, as a warnin. This broke the lang period o peace Beja haed kent for mony centuries. The next day, Friday November 20, Beja wis furiously bombed bi German airplanes for mony oors, acause o its key poseetion leadin tae the roads o Tabarka, Mateur, Bizerte an Algerie. The toun became the stage for ferocious battles atween the Germans an the Allies who fiercely defendit it, at the expense o severe military an ceevil losses. The final German assault wis launched frae Mateur an wis haltit 15 km frae Béja, on the nicht o 28 Februar 1943.

Sister ceeties

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  • Portugal Beja, Portugal (1993)

Coordinates: 36°44′N 9°11′E / 36.733°N 9.183°E / 36.733; 9.183