Villa Sebastian in Hammamet
Villa Sebastian is a house with a garden in Hammamet. We can safely appropriate the first prize in the nomination "The most not understood by the Russians’ attraction of Tunisia". If you ask for Russian tourists who visited here about their impressions, then in 9 cases from 10 you will hear: "House, garden, beautiful, but nothing special".
If you read English-speaking, french or German web sites, you will find entire ODDs describing the magnificence of this place. Europeans Villa Sebastian sincerely admire. Where does such a difference in perception? Will answer this question and tell you in detail about this place.
A bit of history
George Sebastian (Rum.) or Georges Sebastian (Fran.) – Millionaire of Romanian origin, in the photo on the right in the center you can see his bust. He lived in Paris, but hitting Hammamet, was fascinated by the city, bought a plot of land and built a villa of his dreams.
George Sebastian himself was a very mysterious person. It is known that he was a sociable person, in the circle of his dating there were politicians, businessmen and artists.
Villa built his friend – Architect Frank Lloyd Wright. After the construction is completed, the architect said: "This is the most beautiful house of all I knew.".
Frequent guests in these walls were artists and designers. During World War II, Marshal Rommel headquarters was here, then Marshal Marshal Headquarters, Sebastian’s guest was Winston Churchill. We’ll talk about the guests at home a little later in the second part of this article.
In 1962, Villa goes to the property of the Government of Tunisia, a cultural center of Hammamet is organized here. In 1964, the theater is built in the garden and the annual international festival in Hammamet is being held here, the second largest cultural event in Tunisia after the festival in Carthage.
Why Villa delights European Tourists?
It is no secret that the British, French and Germans dream of spending old age somewhere in southern countries in a cozy house on the coast. And some of this dream implement. Pretty many French in retirement move in Morocco or Tunisia, some Germans leave for Turkey, the British in Cyprus.
In fact, few of the elderly European pensioners can afford old age in the beautiful house on the coast. For them, Villa Sebastian – this is their dream to reveal, this is their dream, which they see their own eyes here and now. From here and their admiration. Photo on the left shows the interior of Villa Sebastian.
It was George Sebastian that he began at one time this fashion for winter houses in Tunisia. He was the first one who settled in Hammamete, other rich French followed him, and then other Europeans. Of course, in the 1920s, the French have already lived here, but for the ordinary Frenchman, moving to Tunisia was more punished or a forced measure. Sebastian introduced the fashion voluntarily to settle here.
Does it make sense to go here to Russians?
Russians have their dreams of calm old age, but in such a dream of the average Russian, there is no Tunisia, nor Hammamet. Eurchant delights Our tourists are incomprehensible.
But visiting Villa Sebastian have its big advantages: it is beautiful, interesting and cheap. In addition, the house is located in the city of Hammamet, it is quickly and easy to get here.
How to get
The easiest way to take a taxi, good taxi in Tunisia is inexpensive. A trip from any of the hotels in Hammamet or Yasmin Hammamet will cost within 10 Tunisian dinars.
From the resort of the panel also not far away – within 20 dinars and to one hour drive. Mutual location of the villa and nearby resorts See on the map on the right, click on the map to enlarge.
Organized excursions are not held here (approx.: This review is updated in 2020), but no one hinders to hire a private guide, which will bring himself and show all the interesting.
Important moment! Arriving in place, you will not find the sign "Dan Sebastian" ("House Sebastian"), look for the sign "Hammamet Cultural Center" ("Hammamet Cultural Center").
Entrance to the territory of the villa is 5 Tunisian dinars. In the holiday season near you can find a guide, which for another 10-20 dinars will hold a little excursion. Rather, they themselves will find and torture with their suggestions, you will still disappear.
Daily from 8-00 to 18-00.
How much time planning
Total area of Villa Sebastian – 17 hectares. If you want to see the whole garden, admire the view of the sea and carefully inspect the house, then plan two hours. For a quick inspection, count for one hour.
Value for tourists – a place of rest of historical personalities
In different years, dozens of politicians, famous military and artist workers visited here. We will list only the most famous.
Sir Winston Churchill loved to relax in Hammamet and, of course, was at Villa Sebastian. German warlords Hans-Jurgen von Arnim and Erwin Rommel, nicknamed "Fox Desert". British and American commanders in World War Bernard Low Montgomery and Duight Eisenhower, who later became President of the United States. King of Great Britain George VI.
Art figures were even more frequent guests. Italian sculptor Alberto Dzhacometti, German artist Paul Clee, French writer Andre Ja, Fashion designer Coco Chanel and Italian actress Sophie Loren. And this is not a complete list.
Do not miss the chance to walk around the garden, where all these outstanding personalities of our era rested.
Garden, House and theater
In the garden Villa Sebastian nice to sit and relax from the voltage of the streets of the city and the hotel bustle. There are many plants brought from all over the Mediterranean. The garden looks not very well maintained, but this is not the omission of the administration, but rather the style of the decoration of the villa.
In the house you will find several very interesting places. The pool with arches in the 20s looked like a top of luxury, then only very rich people could afford it. This pool can be seen in the photo above in the background.
The bathroom is made in the form of a cross, and it is not by chance (see photo on the right, click on the photo to enlarge). Such a bathroom for 4 people imitates the swimsuit of the time of the ancient Carthage, such a bath found in the excavations of the Punic city Kerkuan in Tunisia.
The interior of the house developed the famous designer Jean-Michel Frank, famous as one of the masters of minimalism in the design of interiors. The house contains many works of art, because Sebastian was a collector. Also inside you can find several paintings and bas-reliefs with the image of Sebastian himself.
Externally, the house is a mixture of classic Arabic, Andalusian architecture styles with "notes" of European style. During construction, the house was repeated several times, to which George Sebastian did not regret money. Then in Hammamet even began to spread the saying: "Stroy and demolish like Sebastian".
Theater built after the transition of the house to the property of the Tunisian government. This imitation of the classic Greek Amphitheater was built by the famous French architect Paul Shemets.
– If not sorry for time, then you can combine visiting Villa Sebastian and Medina Hammamet. From the medina go walk along the coast, do not miss the villa. Go about 30 minutes;
– From hotels in Yasmin Hammamet can be reached on the local minor (Luj) for 1 dinar. Tell the driver of the phrase "Sebastian Villa", he will stop in the right place. Details in our overview "Minibus in Tunisia";
– smoking on the territory is prohibited, however, tourists and guides smoke. Such a situation with ignoring smoking prohibitions is familiar in Tunisia. Read our article "Smoking and Cigarettes in Tunisia".
We recommend visiting Villa Sebastian, it is beautiful, interesting and inexpensive. In Tunisia, there are many equally interesting sights, read them and about the country on our website (Links below).