By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (May 12, 2022) – In Issue 2022-085 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, it’s all about understanding French in Tunisia.


The Treaty of Bardo was signed on May 12, 1881.  The terms of the treaty made Tunisia a French Protectorate, which remained in effect until World War II.

Tunisia is located in Northern Africa, bordered by Algeria, Libya, and the Mediterranean Sea.  Although French is the diplomatic language used, most of the population is Arabic-speaking.

Tunis is the capital, and Kairouan is a very honored city, being the 4th most important city in the Islamic world.  The holy mosque of Ugba, located in Kairouan, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The capital of the Punic empire reaching back 3000 years, Carthage, is located here.  The city evolved to about one million inhabitants.  Then the Romans came destroying the city.  However, the Romans also created one of the best preserved and oldest Roman amphitheaters.

The Medina, or major market area, in Tunis is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains more than 700 monuments.

This early 1900’s map shows the French colonies on four continents.

French Colonies – early 1900’s (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.