The harbour - ElMina - three kilometers away, hosted what was apparently at one time a Phoenician town of which nothing now remains. ElMina is also known as the "City of Waves and Horizons".
A comprehensive repository of Tripolitan families and expatriates.
Tripoli has long been known for its sweets industry, olive oil-based soap production, and copper crafts.
- Index Tripolis
A project to provide bibliographic information about Tripoli, Lebanon.
A wander around inside Tripoli, Lebanon: A diary of humouristic series of walkabouts "kazdouras".
Useful links and telephone numbers in Tripoli, Lebanon.
Terrain, street, satellite, touristic, urban growth, sailing, and historical maps and aerial imagery of Tripoli, Lebanon.
Daily and weekly news from Tripoli, Lebanon.
- North Lebanon
A guide for towns and villages neighbouring Tripoli, Lebanon.
- Palm Islands
The Palm Islands Park is a unique and integrated natural marine basin in the eastern Mediterranean that was declared as a reserve in 1994.
- Panoramic Views
Interactive panoramic views of Tripoli, Lebanon.
The 'Tripoli e-Discussion Society' is an independently self-controlled body that aims at gathering Tripolitans residing all over the world to discuss issues pertaining to Tripoli, Lebanon.
- Today's Tripoli
Various present aspects of Tripoli, Lebanon
- Tripoli Radio
An Internet Radio that features original on-demand programs about various aspects of Tripoli, Lebanon.
- Tripoli TV
An Internet TV that brings you original on-demand films about various aspects of Tripoli, Lebanon.
A quick reference about Tripoli in the Prehistorical, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusade, Mameluke, and Ottoman periods.
The wealth of historical monuments make Tripoli the second largest preserved Mameluke city in the world.
- The Tripoli Quiz
An educational game to test your knowledge about Tripoli, Lebanon.
- Tourist Guide
A comprehensive tourist guide for sightseeing in Tripoli, Lebanon.
- Virtual Museum
A documented history of Tripoli from the 3rd to the 20th centuries with large collections of coins, garments, manuscripts, paintings, old photographs, and many other artifacts.
Bienvenue à Tripoli, Liban
أهلاً بكم في طرابلس لبنان
- Ramadhan / رمضان
The Holy Month of Ramadhan in Tripoli / شهر رمضان المبارك في طرابلس
Information presented in The Tripoli Internet Database/tripoli-city.org web site is protected by copyright law. Unauthorized public reproduction or distribution of material contained in The Tripoli Internet Database/tripoli-city.org 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.
- Location: Hadeed district (Hadeed Gate, near the western bank of Abou Ali river)
- Surface area: 477 m2
- Commissioned by: Prince Isa Ben Omar alBourtasi alKurdi. He was in charge of inspecting the government offices (Dawaween) during the Mameluke period.
- Date of construction: 710 H/ 1310 CE
- Historical Period: Mameluke
- Characteristics: The mosque is considered as one of the most beautiful mosques in Tripoli. Next to the mosque is the Bourtasi Madrassah.
- Proprietor: Private property
|Architectural Features and Decorative Details
The Bourtasi Mosque is
the first in the city to make use of what are now regarded as the
major elements of Mameluke decorative architecture. The portal and
the arched windows of the madrasah were framed in alternating courses of black and white stone, a
technique called ablaq - literally, "piebald." This set the openings off
dramatically from the plastered, whitewashed sandstone walls,
expressions of a North African influence that came to Tripoli by
way of Cairo and has almost entirely disappeared today. Muqarnas squinches appeared both in the portal and in support of the
central dome. Inside, marble marquetry decorated the qibla wall, which indicated the direction of prayer, and the floor that
surrounded the ablution fountain.
The portal is decorated with stalactites and has a unique decoration in the tympanum. Here we find a round white marble plaque around a circle from which emanates eleven stylized thunderbolts.
The Bourtasi chancel (Mihrab) is superior to all Lebanon and Tripoli chancels at all, with its wonderful plant decoration of golden mosaics which covers the whole
gap and the upper curving of the chancel. This decoration represents a cup which sends harmonical and equal branches to the right and left and gives an atmosphere of comfort for its
observer. These decorations are similar to those in front of the Umawi mosque in Damascus, that is of Byzantine fashion.
The Bourtasi Mosque is nearly a completed building containing all the artistic and graceful elements which express strongly and clearly the ingenuity of the
Moslem builder, architect and artist. For instance, the minaret of this mosque stands directly on the arcade of the outer gate. This building system rarely occurs because the huge,
rising of the minaret tower needs a wide, fixed and strong base to bear it. So, the building of the minaret immediately on the dome or the arc of the gate looks like a challenge from
the Moslem builder and architect to the laws of architecture and the balance of burdens, and they succeeded.
The architectral style is a mixture of Fatimid, Byzantine, and Moorish. The architect was influenced by the Andalusian motifs. This influence appears on the western side of the minaret, so that the observer of this side
imagines, at first, that he is observing one of the Andalusian or Moroccan minarets. The feeling grows stronger that the architect is an Andalusian who immigrated to Tripoli and shared
in building its Islamic milestones, and recorded his Andalusian origin in decorating the two arcades, the twins of broken heads, where in both of them, black and white stones alternate.
Both of them are based on three shoulders of white stones under which two rectangular windows are opened and separated below them by a dark gray pillar. The two windows with the two
arcades are within a hollow rectangular frame going into the frontage of the minaret. The surface of the arcades appears at the same level of the minaret frontage surface. On top of
these two windows, there are two other windows whose curved arcades are based on a central pillar, and immediately on top of these two last windows, there are stepped Moukarnasat that
form the base of the minaret tower which overlooks to the outside whose size is bigger than the minaret stem. This tower base is the balcony on which the caller for prayers
Inside the mosque is a pool of colorful marble. The whole floor of the mosque is covered with the colorful marble and mosaic work which form fine
architectural decorations around the pool.
Marble covers the whole frontage of the prayers house.
|Neigbourhood of the Mosque
Surrounding the mosque are rooms for the students of the Shafii order. The Bourtasi mosque stands next to Khayyateen Khan and Ezzedeen bath.
Using polished lengths of colored marble,
artisans crafted polychrome marquetry panels that are among the
most striking of the applied decorations in Mamluk Tripoli. Above
is the central motif of the qibla wall of the Mosque of
al-Burtasi; the panel measures approximately a meter (3)
The main portal of the Bourtasi Mosque.
The mihrab of the Burtasi Mosque.
The dome of the mosque is extremely wonderful, magnificent, high and wide.
This rare picture was taken few months after the flooding of Abou Ali river in 1955.