Ghar al Milh

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Ghar El Melh
Ghar El Melh is located in Tunisia
Ghar El Melh
Ghar El Melh
Location in Tunisia
Coordinates: 37°10′0″N 10°11′0″E / 37.16667°N 10.18333°E / 37.16667; 10.18333Coordinates: 37°10′0″N 10°11′0″E / 37.16667°N 10.18333°E / 37.16667; 10.18333
Country Flag of Tunisia.svg Tunisia
Governorate Bizerte Governorate
Population (2014)
 • Total 10,530
Time zone CET (UTC1)

Ghar al Milh (Tunisian Arabic: غارالملح‎), formerly known as Porto Farina, is a coastal town and former port in the Sahel region of north-eastern Tunisia.[1][2]


During the Roman Empire, the town was known as Rusuca and was in the Roman province of Byzacena and Africa proconsularis.[3] During this time the city was also the seat of a Christian Bishopric.[4] The bishopric survives today as a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church[5] and the current Bishop is Geoffrey James Robinson of Australia.

The town was an important base for Barbary pirates until it was destroyed by Admiral Robert Blake in 1655. However, the harbor and defences were soon rebuilt and it became a base for British and Maltese pirates. In 1834 a huge arsenal belonging to a Maltese pirate exploded and destroyed part of the town. Ahmed Bey, the last Bey of Constantine, decided to clamp down on piracy and attempted to turn the port over to legitimate trade. He invested in new jetties and fortresses but the estuary then began to silt up. Today Ghar El Melh is a small farming town.[6]