Benghazi, Libya.

Commonwealth war graves cemetery

The Commonwealth war graves cemetery located at the city of Benghazi, Eastern Libya, is the last resting place of over 1000 commonwealth servicemen who gave their lives in the North African desert wars of British Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery and German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel during World War 2. 

“In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons,”

Herodotus – Greek Historian 484 BC – 409 BC.

Buried and commemorated at the cemetery are Australian, British, Greek, Indian, Jewish, Libyan, Norwegian, South African and Sudanese servicemen. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) built and continues to maintain the cemetery.

Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery. Benghazi. Libya.
Benghazi. Cyrenaica. Libya. View of the Commonwealth war graves cemetery at Benghazi.

Note: I visited Libya just before the Libyan civil war in 2011, a war which has left Libya in a complete state of lawlessness and terror. Many thousands of lives have died, and according to Amnesty International, it is estimated that almost a million people across Libya need humanitarian aid. 

Click to view the complete Benghazi War Cemetery image galley

All images, text and content are copyright Steven Sklifas.

Bulla Regia, Tunisia.

Subterranean Roman City.

Bulla Regia is a notable archaeological site in a highly fertile region of northwestern Tunisia. It is officially recognized as Colonia Aelia Hadriana Augusta Bulla Regia.

The ancient city was under the influence of the North African powerhouse Carthage around the 3rd century BC. With the collapse of Carthage, the Romans eventually obtained absolute authority of the city in the 1st century BC.

Prosperity for the city was the greatest between the 1st and 3rd centuries as it became a major producer and supplier of wheat, grains, grapes and olives to the Roman Empire. 

Bulla Regia and other Roman towns in the region have been referred to as the breadbasket or granary of Rome.

Roman ruins. Bulla Regia. Tunisia.
Bulla Regia. Tunisia. View of remains of buildings, including the House of the Fishing at northern end of the archaeological site.

Abandoned after a catastrophic earthquake, the city was buried by drifting sands and lost to the world for many centuries.

A French company constructing a railway through the region accidentally rediscovered the city it in the late 1800s. Unfortunately, some of the well-preserved buildings, including the monumental gateway to the city, were recklessly destroyed.

Thankfully, the site is home to various fine remnants of its history, including a well preserved Roman theatre. However, the site is famed for its unique and distinctive underground villas that distinguish it from all other Roman towns.

The subterranean villas are adorned with magnificent exquisite mosaics in situ built by the town’s wealthy Romans residents in the second and third centuries AD. The Villas provided an escape from the baking Tunisian summer heat and provided warmth in the Winter.

Click to view the complete Bulla Regia image gallery.

All images, text and content are copyright Steven Sklifas.