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.
|Day 2 (Al-Aswak - The Old Bazaars)
A young girl and a boy (wearing Tarboush [Fezz]) from the Aswak Dakeliyyeh district.
Stairway at the Aswak leading to Abou Samra district.
The Sayyagheen (Goldsmiths) Bazaar after a renovation by the Municipality of Tripoli (Headed by Mr. Minkara at that time).
The ceiling at the Nouri Bath.
Inner view from the Jadeed (New) Bath.
The Khayyateen Caravansaray after the renovation.
The Bortasi Mosque next to the Abou Ali River. Photo taken from the roof of the Khayyateen Bazaar. In the Background is the lower part of el-Qoubbeh district. In the upper-right
corner of the photo is the aproximate location of the Mawlawiyyeh theological school.
So here we are now at the old city markets "Al-Aswak Al-Dakhelyyeh" (the inner bazaars) and before we enter to explore the historical aspects of the "Aswak" we must pass through different
areas. As you are coming from "Sahet-Al-Tell" through to "Al-Saraya Al-Atika" (old council building street) you will reach a small round about. At this small round about you can branch
off to go to "Sahet-Al-Nejmeh" (Star Square), "Shareh Al-Madaress" (Schools' street), "Al-Zehrieh", and to "Al-Aswak Al-Dakheelieh" such as "Souk Al-Kendarjeyeh", "Souk Al-Bazerkan",
"Souk Al-Seyagheen", "Souk Al-Nahasseen" in Al-Tarbi'ah, "Khan-Al-Khayyateen", "Souk-Al-Attareen", "Khan Al-Saboon", etc.. These "Aswak" almost resemble each other in their architectural
design. Mainly stone-built construction and you can clearly see the old type arches called "Kanater". Their historical age dates back to the days of the "Memluks" and some to the
"Ottomans". If you';re not a born and bred "Traboulsee" (Tripolitan), you would most likely get lost amongst these "Aswak" due to the many narrow alleys "Dekhlayjat" or "Zawareeb" that
are linked to each other like cooked spaghetti. Adjacent to one of these "Zawareeb" you would find a very old and historic landmark that is "Jameh-Al-Mou';allak" (The hanging mosque).
This mosque hangs in the shape of an arch, which is a superbly fantastic view. Perhaps one of the most busiest of these "Aswak" is "Souk-Al-Attareen" (Perfumers-pharmacists Bazaar). It';s
so called because in the old days it used to be mainly for chemists or pharmacist who used to give prescriptions on the spot by mixing stuff together for "Tobb Arabi" (Arabic medicine) to
be given to ill people, so "attareen" means pharmacists. Nowadays "Souk-Al-Attareen" is very different, although you still find some "attar" (chemist/pharmacist) like "Haj Kamal
Al-Shahal" and "Haj Nasouh Al-Rafi" but most of the old "Attars" have passed away like "Sheikh Mahmoud Al-Saiegh", "Sheikh Nasouh Al-Baroudi" and many others. Anyhow, nowadays
"Souk-Al-Attareen" is full of grocers, street merchants and clothes shops. The street merchants sell products such as vegetables, sweets, and even clothes on "Arabiat" (Trolleys and
pushcarts) and you can hear them shouting, some do it with a singing tune, to attract street's wanderers and shoppers. From "Souk-Al-Attareen" you can turn into many little alleyways and
one of them will lead you to "Al-Jameh Al-Mansouri Al-Kabeer" (The Mansouri Great Mosque) is by far the most famous historical landmark in Tripoli. I will be talking about this mosque
separately as I';ll take you inside it to explore the many different parts and features as well as the most traditional and festive practices. One of the main exits of "Al-Jameh
Al-Mansouri Al-Kabeer" will drop you off to a street that takes you to "Souk -Al-Saigheen" where people can buy and sell jewellery ranging from locally made to imported ones. Off "Souk
-Al-Seyagheen" you can divert to "Khan Al-Saboon" (Soap Caravansaray), which is again a proof of the great ancient historical architecture in Tripoli. It's an old stone paved ground with
a pond in the middle surrounded by arches and decorated sandstone columns, it's an absolute beauty. You can also divert to find Arabic baths "Hammam" or "Hammamat" such as "Hammam
Al-Nouri" and "Hammam Izziddeen" which are dated back to the Ottomans' days and if you like you can drop in for a bath. As you enter one of these "Hammamat" you will be overwhelmed by
supersaturated steam like you get with sauna and I can assure you to be happily coming out very squeaky clean!! After a nice Arabic bath you may like to visit "Souk-Al-Sagha" (Goldsmiths
Bazaar) and if you have a sweet tooth you can drop in at "Abou Noah's" to buy some "Halawet Al-Shomiaseh" (A traditional sweet made from mushy rice and thick milk cream), or you may like
to have something salty such as "Za';tar" (A traditional mixture of herbs mainly Thyme, salt, sesame seeds, cumin etc.) so you can always go to find "Al-Sakardeess" (became Al-Massri
later on) who will treat you and you may like to buy "Ka';keh-b';somsom" (a traditional bread topped with sesame seeds) to eat with the "Za';tar", or even "Mankousheh" (a traditional
baked pastry topped with Za';tar and olive oil). You can really be spoiled for choice, all that depends on your taste and how much you appreciate good traditional food.LR
Now let us take a wander to enter "Khan-Al-Khayyateen" (Taylor's Caravansary). This in particular is a famous tourist';s attraction enjoying a distinguished character. Quite recently
the German Government achieved the restoration and renovation to some of its parts. There are still some old people work in their old shops in "Khan-Al-Khayyateen" tailoring "Sharaweel"
(a traditional pants) and making "Zennarat Hareer" (silk belly belts). When you exit "Khan-Al-Khayyateen" you get to a street called "Shareh Al-Nahr" (i.e., Nahr [River] Abou Ali) one
side takes you to "Bab Al-Tabbaneh" and the other to "Bab Al-Hadeed" from where you can get to "Bahsa", "Swayka" and the famous "Tekiyyeh Mawlawyyeh" theological school.LR
On day 3 we'll be taking you for a walkabout in "Taht Al-Qual'a" (below the Tripoli Citadel) to include "Bab Al-Hadeed" through to "Talet-Al-Qual'a" where you would find "Qual';et
Trablous" (Citadel or Castle of Tripoli) to get to "Abou Samra" district. Until then relax and have a break.LR
|Day 3 (Taht Al-Qual'a - Below the Tripoli Citadel)
The Tripoli Citadel (Up-Right) overlooking Tripoli with an Autumn sky.
A closer look of the Tripoli Citadel.
Aerial view of the main portal of the Tripoli Citadel.
The Qadisha Cave
The Tripoli Citadel by day.
The Tripoli Citadel by night.
The Tripoli Citadel by night
On day two we promised to take you to "Taht Al-Qual'a" (Below the Tripoli Citadel). Last time we got to "Bab-Al-Hadeed" after coming out from "Khan-Al-Khayyateen" and you might be
wondering what "Bab-AL-Hadeed" means and what it is, aren't you? Well, first of all about two centuries ago a significant area of the lower part of Tripoli used to be "Basateen Lymoon"
(Orange growing fields) and Tripoli was under the Ottomans' ruling. Tripoli was surrounded by a number of big gates "Abwab" (they don't exist now) such as "Bab-Al-Hadeed",
"Bab-Al-Tabbaneh" and "Bab-Al-Ramal". Those "Abwab" were there for security reasons. "Bab-Al-Hadeed" as it's still called now means The Iron Gate which is a neighbourhood at the bottom
of "Tal'et-Al-Qual'aa" where you can particularly find open garages for Taxi services to take you to Abou-Samra, Al-Qebbeh "Seer Al-Donneeyeh", "Zgharta", "Ehden" and many more. We
personally remember the good old days "Eyam Al-Izz" where we used to pay "Reb'a Lira" (Quarter of a Lebanese Lira) to go from "Bab-Al-Hadeed" to "Abou Samra", they must be charging you
hundreds of liras nowadays!! I don't think this falls under the category of steadily rising inflation, it's a nuclear reactor business and don't be alarmed, some have reinvented
nuclear power in Tripoli!!!LR
Probably one of the most important attractions that catch your attention in "Bab Al-Hadeed" is " Nahr Kadisha" which is most famously known as "Nahr Abou Ali". So what's "Nahr Abou Ali"?
Well, it's simply River Abou Ali. "Nahr Abou Ali" starts from "Nabaa Kadisha" (Kadisha Spring) passing through "Wadi Kadisha" (Kadisha valley) all the way through next to the bottom of
"Qual'at Trablous" then to "Bab-Al-Hadeed" through to "Bab-Al-Tabbaneh" and "Sahet Al-Mallouleh", to finally arrive to its discharge point in the Mediterranean sea north to Tripoli main
harbour in Al-Mina. In late 1955, this river flooded to destroy many surrounding areas to consequently leave many houses ruined and a quite large number of dead people. Due to this, a
large construction (/destruction; note added by the editor!) project was planned, designed, and implemented to avoid another disaster. This project concentrated mainly on the excavation
of the soil and deepening the passageway through which the river stream runs. During the process of straightening "Nahr Abou Ali" excavation machinery removed massive remains of
archaeological and historical beauties from both river banks such as "Hammam Al-Attar", "Hammam Al-Hajeb", "Hammam Al-Nozha", "Al-Bymarestan" (The old Memluk Hospital), "Khan Al-Manzel",
"Al-Batrakeyyeh", "Kasr Al-Tontash" and many more (shame they did not have building insurance at the time, or even did not know that something like that ever existed!!!). Nowadays, "Nahr
Abou-Ali" looks like a very thin water stream rather than a river and, unfortunately, the concrete channel in which the river goes is well oversized (may be the designers had their
reasons) and you can clearly see rubbish and other stuff thrown into it. This is understandably unhygienic for the environment, which may well lead to contamination and therefore to
Anyway, if you ascend from "Bab Al-Hadeed" for about 100 metres through "Tal'et-Al-Qual'a" towards "Abou Samra" you will find on your left hand side undoubtedly the most beautiful
landmark in Tripoli that is "Qual'at Trablous" (Castle or Citadel of Tripoli). It is located on a rising hill overlooking the city of Tripoli. "Qual'at Trablous" had witnessed all the
wars in Tripoli since it was built by early Arabs (more than a thousand years ago) and then enlarged by "Al-Saleebyeen" (the Franks/Crusades) signifying the historical heritage of
Tripoli. During the bloodthirsty civil war in Tripoli from the mid 1970's to late 1980's it was not possible for people to visit, it was mainly occupied by faction groups for their
military operations. It has now been renovated and refurbished for tourism purposes and I believe that they have supplied ornamental electric lighting by means of projectors to its bottom
surrounding which will surely add much life to its architectural beauty. We will not enter "Qual'at Trablous" at this stage but perhaps we will take a closer look inside on another
special day! However, if you continue walking up "Tal'et-Al-Qualaa" you will get to "Abou Samra". This is where we are going on day 4 to continue our walkabout.LR