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 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
Index Tripolis is 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.
- Tripoli e-Discussion Society
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
Present aspects of Tripoli, Lebanon
- Tripoli Radio
Tripoli Internet Radio features original on-demand programs about different aspects of Tripoli, Lebanon.
- Tripoli TV
Tripoli Internet TV brings you the latest video clips related to Tripoli and features original on-demand films about different aspects of Tripoli, Lebanon.
A quick reference about Tripoli in the Prehistorical, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusades, 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 on the present and history of Tripoli, Lebanon.
- Tourist Guide
A comprehensive tourist guide for sightseeing in the historical districts of 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.
History: In workshops in Khan el-Misriyyin and al-Saboun in Tripoli, artisans continue to make olive-oil based soap just as they have for the last few centuries. Some historians
indicate that Tripolitan chemists were the first to process soap. They made different classes of soap such as: daily soap, soaps in geometric shapes decorated with various floral motifs,
kings' perfumed soap, round colorful soap, etc. Historically, a bride was presented with a collection of these decorative soaps before leaving for her marital home, since soap was
considered as a symbol of purity. Later on, ornamental soaps became typical wedding presents but as these traditions began to die out, so did the soap-makers.
Ingredients: Tripoli soap is made from natural ingredients, which gives it traditional attraction. Tripoli soap is made using olive oil. The rich hues come from natural dyes. Red,
for example, is derived from a herb traditionally used to treat cuts. Saffron is used to stain soap orange and yellow.
Making the Soap: Tripoli soap production is labor intensive and time consuming. The olive oil must be boiled and stirred for six hours in a large cauldron. The other ingredients
are added and heated briefly to achieve a creamy paste. The artisan then adds the perfumes and puts in the colors he has chosen. Each soap reflects and idea. Black, blue, and white
become a winter sky. Spring is announced with a mix of pink, yellow, and green. The molten soap is then left to congeal overnight before being sliced into blocks or shaped into balls,
which are aired for a month. To make the characteristic brightly colored balls of soap, the artisan begins that dance of the hands, the brushing that polish the surface. A final buffing
gives the soap additional shine.
Aroma Therapy: In the old days, the attar (perfumer) and the ashab (herbalist) worked together to prepare unusual soaps infused with herbal remedies. Through the
prescriptions of a physician the essential oils cultivated by the attar are mixed with medicinal herbs classified by the ashab. Such special soaps were used to treat
dandruff, acne, eczema, hair-loss, and leprosy. A famous traditional soap maker in Tripoli, Mr. Badr Hassoun, believes that these mild soaps have an advantage over modern remedies,
because they are less likely to cause allergies or side effects. But the modern craftsman understands the importance of tailoring his products to contemporary tastes. Noting the
increasing popularity of aroma therapy over the past decade, Hassoun has developed his own range of aromatherapeutic soaps, including relaxing jasmine-scented soap, sensual musk and
amber soaps, and rejuvenating lavender soaps. These rare soaps are handmade using olive oil, glycerin and honey. Honey is used since it helps the fragrance soak into the skin which
ensures that the therapeutic effects are longer-lasting.
Piles of Casted Soap.
Traditional Soap Making.
Working in Tripoli, artisans make copper, brass, and silver objects using four methods: hammering, embossing, and filigree. Tripoli is still the traditional home of many copper and silver
Equipped with an anvil to support his work, a hammer and chisel, the artisan spends many long hard hours stooped over his task, transforming shiny metal into a multitude of articles.
One can admire an Omayyad oil lamp, where the copper, paired with blown glass, hints at great celebrations of the past. There is also the beautiful tapered spear decorated in the 'naksh'
style, or the samovars that take pride of place in grand salons. Smaller objects are the incense holders, carafes, platters, covers for plant pots - all decorated with circular borders
interlaced with engraved medallions or with designs of plants or flowers alternating with Quranic verses and philosophical quotations. These are made by chiseling the copper.
Embossed copper, decorated with reliefs formed with the help of a wooden anvil, is easier to do. The relatively soft wood of the anvil allows the copper to move freely. A less common
technique is perforated copper or filigree work, which allows light to filter through and heat to diffuse. Filigree is used for chandeliers, lanterns, and samovars. Here a sharp piercing
tool makes the holes that form the design.
No matter which technique is used, certain steps are always followed. The artisan heats the copper, then bends, folds, and polishes it. There follows the application of the design, the
complexity and the fine details of which determine the value of the work and the standard of the artisan.
|Small-Sized Handicrafts and Products
Tripoli (and North Lebanon in general) are well-known for a modest Lemonade juice industry. Some small factories producing orange flower extracts are also present. These extracts are well
known for their medical applications (Herbal Medicine) and as additives to sweet products (for adding taste). Carob juice production is also present.
|Products to be Supported/Developed
If we take soap-making as an example, we see that one of only five shops for traditional soap are open in Khan al-Saboun. About 15 others lie abandoned. Fragmentation as a result of local
inheritance laws means that the khan is now owned by dozens of descendants of earlier owners. Many of them no longer have a commercial interest in the khan, and the 500-year-old building
has fallen into disrepair and the soap-making tradition almost faded away.
Similarly, other small crafts are fading away in Tripoli and need support and development. Some of these activities are: (1) Traditional dress making, those were and should be practiced
in the Khayyateen (Tailors') Bazaar. (2) Horse saddle making and Chevaliers necessities. These were and should be practiced in al-Dabbaghah (Leather Painting) and al-Barraniyyeh districts
in Tripoli. (3) Blacksmiths crafting, especially products related to agriculture (sickle production, etc.). (4) Plumbing, bed and pillow stuffing, metal cleaning, knife production and