Last update:
4 November 2009
16 Thu AlQe'da 1430

Barsbay Tower

(Includes the Barsbay Mosque)

Tripoli > History > Monuments > Tower > Barsbay Tower

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Information presented in The Tripoli Internet Database/ web site is protected by copyright law. Unauthorized public reproduction or distribution of material contained in The Tripoli Internet Database/ web site, or any portion of it, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.

Contact Us

Please send your comments, suggestions, or contributions to: Dr. Ghazi Omar Tadmouri.

General Notes

While most of the numerous coastal towers and fortifications which protected Tripoli during Mameluke times have disappeared or been encoached upon by modern buildings, the mid-15th century Tower of Barsbay is still remarkably preserved. It was given this name because of Prince Sayfeddin Barsbay ben Abdullah ibn Hamzeh AlNaseri (Memluke, died 851 Hejirah/1483 C.E.), who ordered its construction. The tower is characterized by a rectangular base; 28.5 meters long and 20.5 meters wide. It is actually a fortress two storeys high with laufty vaulted ceilings. The west portal is in the typical Mameluke black and white (Ablaq) stone pattern. From the outside you can see how the builders placed Roman columns horizontally in the wall as reinforcements. Located in the area of ElMina, this three-storey fortress with walls two meters thick and an imposing entrance, is well worth a visit. (Click here to listen to Arabic real audio comments of Prof. Omar Tadmouri concerning common misconceptions about Barsbay tower)

The Barsbay Mosque
  • Location: The second floor of Barsbay Tower
  • Commissioned by: Prince Sayfeddin Barsbay alNasiri
  • Date of construction: 843-851 H/1440-1448 CE
  • Historical period: Mameluke
  • Characteristics: It is a small well-protected mosque with a mihrab and no minaret.
  • Proprietor: Municipality of el-Mina


Throughout its history, the citizens of Tripoli claimed the presence of a tunnel that starts from the citadel and reaches Prince Barsbay AlNaseri Tower at the coast, thus extending over a distance of around two miles. However, this was not assured by the written historical sources. Click here to listen to an Arabic real audio file about this issue.

Photo Album

The gate of the Barsbay tower
The gate of the Barsbay tower.

Inner view in the Barsbay tower.
Inner view in the Barsbay tower.

The Mihrab of the Barsbay Mosque.

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