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A Journey in Tripoli

Tripoli > History > Tourist Guides > A Journey in Tripoli AlFayhaa > The Ninth Historical Complex


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The Ninth Historical Complex
The Mallaha District.

Shouhadaa Madrassa.

The Bortasi Mosque.

Inside the Bortasi Mosque.
Plan of the ninth historical complex

Heading for two minutes from the "Mallaha" pool to the south, you will reach the ninth historical complex that mainly includes the "Bortasi" mosque. Halfway before reaching the mosque, you can see the Mameluke palace of Prince "Sayfuddin alTuntash" built in the 13th century CE. Afterwards, you may see a Mameluke decree engraved in year 1400 CE on the walls of an alley located on the left side of the road.

At a short distance you'll find a Mameluke madrassa, where there are tombs of several individuals from Tripoli, the heads of whom were cut off by Ibrahim Pasha Ibn Mohammed Ali in 1834 CE. That is why the madrassa was subsequently named as "Shouhada" (martyrs) madrassa. There, also exists a water pool from which the citizens used to drink its water free of charge. As a matter of fact, Tripoli is considered as superior to other cities in terms of the abundance of pools and water fountains available in dozens in the old quarters.

Next to the madrassa and the water pool is the eastern portal of the "Khayyateen" caravansary. Facing the portal from the eastern side is the "Bortasi" mosque commissioned by "Isa ben Omar alBortasi" in 1310 CE. It is one of the most beautiful Mameluke mosques with some Byzantine motifs in the sanctuary (mihrab), Fatimid motifs in the engravings above the portal, and Moorish motifs in the splendid minaret that stands firmly on an empty half-arch despite its length and weight.

A walk out of the mosque for two minutes towards the southeast will lead you to the ancient Crusade road "Taht alSibat" (as pronounced by the citizens of Tripoli, and the correct spelling is "Sabat", i.e., the covered road). This road was used during periods of blockades to link the citadel with the old city.

At the beginning of this road, you'll find the Mameluke "Zahiriyah" madrassa commissioned by the Prince "Taghri Barmesh alThahiri" in 1397 CE.

The Zahiriyah Madrassa.

The Tenth Historical Complex
The Mawsili Palace.

The Kadiriyah Madrassa.

A Coppersmith
A Coppersmith.
Plan of the tenth historical complex

Now you can walk westward for two minutes towards the tenth historical complex that includes the Mameluke palace of Prince "Izeddeen Aybak alMawsili" that exhibits Andalusian decorations similar to those in AlHambra palace in Grenade (Spain). Behind the palace, you'll find the tomb of the Prince, the window of which carries a historical inscription dated at 1299 CE.

In a less than a minute, you may visit the Mameluke "Kadiriyah" madrassa built during the 14th century AD and located on the left side of the road. In front of the madrassa is "Izzedeen" hammam (described earlier in the fifth historical complex).

At the western side, right where "Izzedeen" hammam is located, is the beginning of the "Nahhaseen" (coppersmiths') bazaar. In this bazaar, the craftsmen of Tripoli manifest their skills at their best while they are making copper items awaited by many to decorate their houses.

In less than two minutes, you'll reach the Mameluke "Houjayjiyah" mosque built using Crusade items. Near the mosque and in the "Bortasi" alley, there is the Greek Orthodox "Saydeh" (Lady) tomb constructed in the Crusade period and still visited by many people until these days. At a minute distance, and at the western end of the alley, you'll see the Ottoman "Kadioglu" (the judge's son) madrassa. This madrassa is located in the western side of the "Kindarjiyeh" (shoemakers') bazaar which is a bustling market that includes shops selling modern garments, shoes, and ladies' handbags for extraordinarily cheap prices.

Houjayjiyah Mosque.

Saydeh Church.

The Eleventh Historical Complex
Sayyagheen Bazaar
Sayyagheen Bazaar.

Traditional Soap Making.

Hammam Abed.

Madrassa Tuwashiyah.

Nouriyah Madrassa.
Plan of the eleventh historical complex

You can walk from the western to the eastern side of the "Kindarjiyeh" bazaar in less than two minutes. There, you can turn to the southern direction to reach the eleventh historical complex that includes one of the oldest and most beautiful bazaars of Tripoli, that is the "Sayyagheen" (Goldsmiths') bazaar. Shops in that bazaar sell golden items either made by the craftsmen and artists of Tripoli or exported from outside. The bazaar also includes the Mameluke "Saboun" (soap) caravansary, where most of the traditional colored and fragrant Tripoli soaps are made. The soap of Tripoli is world famous since historical times and until present because it is made of the pure olive oils produced from the orchards surrounding Tripoli especially the orchards of the Koura region.

At the right side halfway in the "Sayyagheen" bazaar is the Ottoman "hammam Abed" alley. The hammam (public bath) is still functional and is worth a visit. Few steps ahead is the Mameluke madrassa "Tuwashiyah", one of the most beautiful madrassas in Tripoli and exhibits lots of Andalusian motifs.

Facing the eastern side of the madrassa "Tuwashiyah" (five meters away) is another Mameluke madrassa. A few second-walk from the southern side of the madrassa is enough to reach another Mameluke madrassa that was recently converted to a gold shop. The sanctuary and the dome of the madrassa are still intact.

You may turn from the right side of the madrassa and walk for few seconds to reach a narrow alley named "Namel" (ants), where there is a Mameluke madrassa characterized by its portal that is splendidly engraved.

From there, you can return back to the "Sayyagheen" bazaar and walk to the south for few seconds to reach the wonderful "Nouriyah" madrassa, commissioned by Prince "Noureddeen Sonkor" (1305-1310 CE). Inside the madrassa is the most beautiful Mameluke sanctuary as well as a tomb that was built by "Tormosh alDawadar."

Facing the eastern side of the madrassa, you may visit the "Nouri" hammam that was commissioned by Prince "Noureddeen Sonkor," whose name was given to the district; "Nouri" or "Suwaykat alNouri."

Nouri Hammam.

The Twelfth Historical Complex
Khayriyah Hosn Madrassa.

Saqraqiyah Madrassa
The Saqraqiyah Madrassa after restoration by the "Monuments' Protection Society of Tripoli".

Arghoun Shah Mosque.

Inscriptions above the portal of the Khatouniyah Madrassa.
Plan of the twelfth historical complex

At the "Nouri" district, and if we stand in front of the "Khayriyah Hosn" madrassa, you can see the twelfth historical complex that exists at a distance of a two minute-walk. At this new site, there are two Mameluke madrassas, one on the left side and the other on the right side separated by a seven-meter wide road. The madrassa on the right side is the "Saqraqiyah" madrassa commissioned by Prince "Sayfuddeen Aktorok alHajeb" before 1358 CE. The entrance of the "Saqraqiyah" madrassa is flanked by two longitudinal marble plaques on which a wakif (inalienable property) is inscribed along with the logo of the Prince represented as a sword. Inside the madrassa, you find a tomb, on top of which there is a lobed-dome that carries Qur'anic engravings written by the Diwani script.

Some 30 meters to the south you can visit the Mameluke "Arghoun Shah" mosque, commissioned by the Prince "Arghoun alIbrahimi" (1393-1400 CE). On top of the gate of the mosque, there is a Sultanic decree ordered by Sultan "Kayetbay" in 1475 CE. The mosque is characterized by its decorated and cylindrical minaret.

Facing the left side of the "Saqraqiyah" madrassa you can see the "Khatouniyah" madrassa characterized by a wakif, inscribed on its portal, and on the western wall the "glass" renk is engraved.

From the "Khatouniyah" madrassa you can walk towards the east to the "Kahwet alHittah" district and in less than two minutes you will have the chance to visit the "Tahham" mosque, a Mameluke construction characterized by a splendidly decorated minaret. The mosque was built above the ground on top of an array of shops.

You may pass below the mosque to reach in three minutes the oval-shaped "Ouwaynat" ascent that ramifies in three directions. The ascent is characterized by its ancient style because of the presence of several Mameluke and Ottoman monuments.

Tahham Mosque.

A view from the Ouwaynat district.

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