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
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- Location: Raml Gate, at The southern entrance of Tripoli near the Moslems' cemetery
- Commissioned by: The Vice Sultan, Prince Seifeddeen Taynal alHajeb alAshrafi
- Date of construction: 736 H/ 1335 CE
- Historical period: Mameluke
- Characteristics: The Vice Sultan also built a grave in this Mameluke mosque for himself, but he moved from Tripoli and died in Damascus in 743 H/1342 CE and was carried to Safad in Palestine, where he was burried. Near the mosque on the right side are four rooms used historically by the judges of the city who follow the four Islamic orders: Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali. The largest gatherings for the Eid (feast) prayers are usually held in this mosque.
- Proprietor: Islamic Awqaf Directorate of Tripoli
|Architectural Features and Decorative Details
Taynal Mosque resembles the Bourtasi in the wonderful building and architecture, but it is more luxuriant than the Bourtasi for its hugeness. It is composed of
two Harems, and it has five domes of different sizes, while the Bourtasi has three domes. The colorful marble covers the whole floor of the northern Harem (the first), its entrance, and
its external yard, where the ablution pool used to be. Beautiful architectural and plant figures decorate the marble. In the middle of the Harem there is a round marble with set gems, in
the center of which, there is a hollow opening in the floor to drain water during cleaning. Before a while, I mentioned the peculiarity of the mosque minaret with the two stairs inside
it. The minaret looks in its general external shape like a castle tower or a king in the chess spot. It is distinguished in its unique design from the other minarets in Tripoli.
The interior of the 1336 mosque of Amir
Taynal is surprisingly plain
and intimate for what was one of the most abundantly endowed
mosques in the city, especially when compared to the grandeur of
its entrance hall. Decoration was restricted to carved wooden
minbar (pulpit) and the marble floors, now damaged and carpeted.
In this way, the mosque expresses more dramatically than most the
Mamluk tendency to lavish ornamentation on the publicly visible
elements of a building: entrances, minarets and windows.
The minaret of Taynal Mosque includes two spiral stairs interwinding with each other and leading to the inner and outer sides of the mosque through two gates. In this case, if two persons
decide to use both stairs, they can reach the top of the minaret without meeting each other all through the way. This unique peculiarity, exists only in Taynal mosque because of its
presence outside the inhabited part of Tripoli. The defensive and military necessities were the reasons behind this unique type of architecture. A secret corridor was made between the two
walls to separate the internal and the external sides of the mosque, thus, allowing its janitor and guards to hide.
In the field of the wooden manufactures, especially, in making the decorated platforms, Prof. O. Tadmori encountered the name of the master Mohammed Safadi who made the platform of Taynal Mosque.
The portal at Taynal Mosque,
among the tallest in the city, is clearly its most refined Mamluk
expression. It uses polished ablaq, a joggled relieving arch, extensive calligraphic inscriptions, three panels of marble marquetry and a crowning muqarnas half-dome. It is a coherent structure, one in which details contribute to what Sala-Liebich describes as the "feeling of freshness and purpose" that characterizes the best of Mameluke craftsmanship.
Today, it is also the best preserved because,
unlike other portals, it stands inside the mosque, which is entered through a modest covered portico, or riwaq. The riwaq opens
into a plain but grandly proportioned, domed vestibule that is
used as a secondary prayer hall, and which also provides a superb
frame for the decorative portal that leads into the main prayer
hall. Yet in that main prayer hall, there is relatively little
decoration. In this way, the Taynal mosque exemplifies the Mamluk
tendency to concentrate decoration on the most noticeable parts
of the structure: the portal, the minaret and, to a lesser
extent, the windows.
|Pillars, Columns, and Gates
Muslim architects did not hesitate to use the stones and pillars that existed before, in the heathen temples or in the Christian churches. They put them together in a wonderful
harmony as they are now, in the northern part (the first part) of Taynal mosque. There, we see three architectural types in one piece. This piece is a huge granite pillar brought from
Egypt during the Pharaoh Era. It has a huge Corinthian crown on its top, with leafy decorations that belong to the Roman-Byzance art. A sandy pillar (supporter of stones) is based on it
with other pillars that bear the dome which expresses an example of Mamluk architectural art. The ingenuity of the Moslem architect appeared in domesticating those different elements. He
succeeded in making a perfect element of beauty that is comfortable for the soul. The internal gate of the mosque, which separates the southern and northern Harem (the first and the
second), which is Islamic in building, design, and art, is considered as one of the most beautiful gates of Tripoli and Lebanon. With it's magnificence, amazing harmony,
decorations, colors, lines, and hollowings, it competes with the most wonderful mosque gates of the Mamluks in Cairo and Damascus. It can be nearly compared with the gate of Prince
Kartay's school in magnificence too. But, who looks carefully at this gate and that one would feel a different kind of flavor, if it is allowable to say.
|The Mosque's Inalienable Property (Awqaf)
From the mosque's inalienable property, sculptured inside it, we can realize several places that where built before 736 H/ CE 1335. Some of these are: two shops next to the gate of
the orchard known as Hamwi outside Tripoli next to the mosque, the orchard that used to be known as Altuntash in Tripoli fields (Saki), two shops next to the Weapons market near Asandamor
bath in Souwayka district inside the city, and a Khan known as old Wakala (agency) house. It is probable that this Khan is the one known nowadays as Haraj market. According to the
inalienable property sculptured on the grave of Taynal, inside the mosque, many other previously built places in Tripoli may be recognized. Some of these are: Tabakah (or the house which
is next to the mosque towards the east side, known as Khateeb house), two shops at the Haddaddeen market located at its western side (previously known as Abi Roubbahi), a market at the
southern side of the city, and houses on top of shops built by Prince Taynal in old Aarasah at the northern gate of Tripoli, known at present as Tabbaneh gate. A large Khan, known at
present as Aarasat (i.e., the wide house yard in which many pillars stand) Khan, still stands next to Tabbaneh gate. That's in addition to six shops built by Prince Taynal and used
to be known as Mouzaffer shops, in Kadi (Kormi) Souwaika near Asker Khan in Dabbaghah district at the northern western side of the city. Over these shops, three houses were built. A
Hakoura, little orchard, used to exist at the southern side of the mosque, in addition to a land known nowadays as Tall square that is at the southern side of Tripoli's Manshieh
garden. According to these two inalienable properties, we notice that the constructions of any Vice Sultan or Prince were not limited to one side of the city, but were scattered over the
three sides of Tripoli as well as its center and suburbs. This offered a geographical expansion space in a period that did not exceed half a century. That's why when Ibn Fadlallah
ElOumari visited Tripoli, in 735 H/ CE 1334, he described it as an extending city, very crowded, with two hospitals (Maristan), mosques, schools, Zawaya (small schools), respectable
markets, wonderful baths, and all its buildings made of stone and limestone, and they are externally and internally whited.
In 755 H/ CE 1354, the Vice Sultanate Prince Aitmosh Ben Abdallah Seifi died. A grave was made for him at a distance of 250 meters from the western side of Taynal mosque. Later on, his
son Mohammed died in 758 H/ CE 1357, a grave was made for him near his father's, then the second son died, and a third grave was made for him too. Those three graves were uncovered
when the bases of Siddeek mosque were dug in 1960 CE.
Details in the second hall of the Taynal mosque.
Inside the Taynal mosque.
The vestibule of the mosque of Amir Taynal
is larger in both in height and area than the prayer hall that
lies on the other side of the most elaborate portal in the city.
In the vestibule, the original ablution fountain and its
surrounding floor panels of marble marquetry have been removed
after being damaged, and the area is now used as a secondary
prayer hall. The granite columns date from the Roman era.
The outermost fence of the mosque.
The gate of the first hall of the mosque.
The gate of the second hall of the mosque.
Looking upward from the second gate.
Details at the second gate.
The three tombs of the founder of the mosque and his two sons after recovery from a nearby excavation.