The Bardo National Museum is hosted in the former residence of the Beys of Tunis. This Husseinid architecture masterpiece of the 19th century Husseinid architecture was converted in 1885 into the Museum of National Antiquities. This major and enlisted historic monument displays Moorish traditions, Italianate influences, as evidenced in the stucco décors, the. Panels of glazed ceramic tiles from Qallaline and painted woodwork,Since its inauguration in 1888, under the name of the Alawi Museum, the National Bardo Museum is the place to visit to learn about the history of Tunisia.
The renovation and extension works (Spring 2009 - Spring 2012) en-hanced the level of the museum to the best international standards. Under the 9,000 m2 extension, the surface of the museum doubled and facilities that were previously lacking were added. This renovation brings a modernity that is integrated in the ancient architecture of the palace, highlighting a large, rich and varied museum collection.
The new visitor circuits correspond to chronological and thematic crite-ria, based on a modern presentation that enhances the collections display and is well adapted to the visitor. They include a tour of the rehabilitated palace. The lighting, whether natural or artificial, meets internationalstandards and enhances the scenography and the display of collections. The new display is a testimony to the rich heritage of Tunisia along six new departments devoted to: the prehistoric era, the Punic era, the Numidian civilization, the underwater treasures of Mahdia, the late antiquity, and the Islamic era. The historic part of the museum, dedicated to the Roman period, displays the famous mosaics of the Bardo, the largest in the world, a new presentation of sculptures in the Emperors and Carthage rooms, and sarcophagi in the ancient cisterns.
The Great Hall of the Museum, enhanced by the monumental mosaic of the Triumph of Neptune, is host to the visitor center. It leads to the iconic portrait of Virgil writing the Aeneid, the starting point of the visiting circuits. The bookstore, boutiques, temporary exhibitions, multimedia library, and educational workshops open to children and adults help raise awareness and deepen knowledge.
The National Bardo Museum, in its new cofiguration, representative of all periods of the Tunisian heritage, highlights the prime role that the new Tunisia brings to the value of its precious heritage for the community.