Bizerte is at one and the same time the most French and the oldest city of Tunisia. This is the place for the Phoenician colony called Hippo Diarrythus, established around 1000 BCE. But today's Bizerte bears a character of being the last place the French left. Bizerte served as a French base for five years into the Tunisian independence. The French only left after perhaps 1000 young Tunisians had died in attacks towards the military base the French wanted to keep here.