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Tripoli

Tripoli is quite unique in Lebanon in that it’s both a major city but also one that has retained a great deal of its history. The city boasts nearly 40 historical sites that date back to the 14th century, and many of them much earlier than that. From the famous citadel and the continuously operating old souks, replete with traditional craftsmanship, to the plethora of mosques and hammams, Tripoli is a history lover’s delight.

 

Beyond historical attractions, Tripoli is quite a fascinating city to wander through, full of narrow side streets dense with old apartment buildings. The corniche makes for an attractive stroll leading to the Tower of the Lions and past the harbor where you can easily find boats for hire that will take you to the Palm Island Nature Reserve.

 

The city also has a wonderful old bone yard from the days when steam trains operated across the country. A few old engines sit rusting away in an abandoned shed and can be seen from the street, along with some rolling stock and a few other outbuildings from the days when the yard was busy sorting cargo and passengers.

 

And if you’re a scuba diver, you’ll be interested to know that the wreckage of a WW II-era anti-submarine ship lurks 60 meters below the surface of the water off of Tripoli, its rigging and other features still in surprisingly good shape.


Getting there:

Quite simple, really: take the highway north – the city is about 85 kilometers (53 miles) away. You can’t miss it.

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Things to do

Mosques and Madrassas in Tripoli

Tripoli is a living museum, with madrassas, mosques, hammams and souks scattered across the old city, and no visit would be complete without stopping...

Madrassa al-Qadiriya

Near the Ezzeddin hammam, on one of Tripoli’s narrowest streets, stands the Al-Qadiriyah Madrassa, built in 1471. It is the second largest madrassa...

Sidi Abdel Wahed Mosque

One of the oldest religious monuments in Tripoli, located to the east of Souq al-Attarine (the perfumers market) in the Al-Mahatirah neighborhood,...

Madrassa al-Saqraqiyah

The Al-Saqraqiyah Madrassa is in the Al-Haddadin neighborhood and is the best preserved madrassa in Tripoli. Built in 1359, the mausoleum of its...

Takiyya Mawlawiya

Built circa 1619 by an Ottoman governor, the Takkiya al-Mawlawiyya of Tripoli is the largest of the seven takkiya (old Sufi hospices) outside Turkey...

Al-Tahham Mosque

Al-Tahham Mosque stands on top of a souk in the Al-Haddadine neighborhood, and is accessed by a staircase. The date of its foundation and its builder...

Al-Ouwaysiyah Mosque

Al-Ouwaysiyah Mosque stands at the southern foot of the Tripoli citadel, on a hill known by “Suq el-Samaq” (fish market), in the Bab el-Hadid...

Argoun Shah Mosque

The mosque of the Emir Arghoun Shah was built several decades before Tripoli fell to the Ottomans. Located in the Saff el-Balat neighborhood, its...