Kasserine

Kasserine is the capital city of the Kasserine Governorate, in west-central Tunisia. It is situated below Jebel ech Chambi, Tunisia's highest mountain. Its population is 76,243 (2004).


A city in the Republic of Tunisia with abo...

More Info >

Kasserine is the capital city of the Kasserine Governorate, in west-central Tunisia. It is situated below Jebel ech Chambi, Tunisia's highest mountain. Its population is 76,243 (2004).


A city in the Republic of Tunisia with about 75,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), situated in western-central part of the country, east of the Chaambi Mountain, Tunisia's largest at 1544 meters, in the Aurès Mountains. It is the capital of Kasserine governorate with 440,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 6,712 km². The economy of Kasserine is based on varieties of activities, like being a market centre, olive cultivation, growing of esparto grass and production of paper pulp, oil production, growing of grain, the raising of sheep and cattle. The cellulose factory has emissions of chlorine, causing at times a bad environment. Kasserine has good road and rail connections to other urban centres of Tunisia like Tunis and Sousse.


Situation and characteristics

Kasserine lies on the Oued el Habeb in the upland steppe country of central Tunisia, surrounded by the country's highest hill, Djebel Chambi (1,544m/5,066ft), to the northeast, Djebel Semmama (1,314m/4,311ft) to the northwest ... More > and Djebel Selloum (1,373m/4,505ft) to the southeast. Thanks to its situation it is an important traffic junction and market town (market on Tuesdays); but it is now mainly an industrial center. In the largest industrial plant in central Tunisia, established in 1963, the esparto grass which grows in the surrounding steppe is used in the manufacture of cellulose and paper.

 

History


The town was founded by the Romans, probably in the second century A.D., under the name of Cellium, and in the third century was raised to the status of a colonia. With the fall of the Roman Empire it declined in importance, and until the colonial period remained no more than a small market center for the surrounding villages. The French built a railway station and settled European colons on the land.

Kasserine Pass, to the northwest, was the scene of a decisive battle of the Tunisian campaign in World War II, which contributed to the collapse of German resistance in northern Africa.