Tripoli, Libya

Tripoli, Libya

According to abbreviationfinder, Tripoli is the capital and main city of Libya, located on the northwest coast, about 200 km from the border with Tunisia. It is the main port and commercial and manufacturing center of the country and its industry is based especially on fishing. It is located on the shores of the Mediterranean, in the western part of a fertile oasis. Currently, Tripoli is an important political – administrative and commercial center, thanks to the traffic of its port, with its 1,690,000 residents.

The city was founded in the 7th century BC by the Phoenicians with the name of Oea, then it was a Roman colony, later Byzantine and in 642 it was conquered by the Arabs. It was occupied by the Spanish in 1510 and later ceded to the Order of Malta, until it was conquered by the Turks in 1551, then it was an Italian colony until the country’s independence in 1951.

Tripoli still preserves a series of important historical monuments and buildings among which are: the Alfateh University, the National Archives, the State Library, the Natural History museum, the Archaeological, the Ethnographic, the Epigraphic, the Islamic, the Arc de Triomphe in honor of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the Karamanli and Gurgi mosques and a 16th century Spanish fortress.

History

It is thought that Tripoli had prehistoric origin, being known by the name of Makar Wiar, as a commercial emporium of the Phoenicians. The ports of Oea, Sabratha and Leptis Magna, founded by the enterprising Phoenician navigators in their Mediterranean expansion, formed a single emporium called by the Greeks Tri Polis (three cities). Later, it became a Roman colony, becoming one of the three main ones in the province together with Leptis Magna and Sabrahta, the latter of greater importance, in the republican stage.

From the principality of Augustus, the city began a strong development. Few remains of the Roman period remain in Tripoli, except for the Arch of Marcus Aurelius, in the ancient city. In the 5th century it was conquered by the Vandals and, in 533, Belisarius, after taking it from them, annexed it to the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine rule, however, lasted barely a century, since in 642 it was taken by storm by the Arabs, and definitively conquered in 646.

During the 15th – 16th centuries, the territory was dominated by the Ottomans, with the exception of Cyrenaica, where Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ali al-Sanusi established a brotherhood of Sanusíes. At the beginning of the 20th century, Italyoccupied Libya ; the outbreak of World War I forced the Italians to evacuate the country, except for the ports of Tripoli, al – Hums and Zuwarah. It was massively bombed during World War II and, in 1949, Libya became an independent country. It has expanded massively since the 1969 revolution, reaching 620,000 residents.

In April 1986 the United States Air Force and Navy bombed Tripoli and Benghazi. US President Ronald Reagan justified the attacks by claiming that Libya was responsible for terrorism directed against the US, such as the air attack on the La Belle nightclub in West Berlin days earlier. The United Nations lifted sanctions against Libya in 2003, which brought an increase in maritime traffic and a positive effect on the city’s economy.

Rebellion in Libya

During the month of February of 2011, Tripoli was the scene of protests and clashes that were quelled by the military and police forces of the government of Muammar Gaddafi. Later in August, rebel forces clashed with forces loyal to Gaddafi for control of the capital. The troops of the National Transitional Council managed to overthrow the Libyan president and took control of the city.

Geography

Tripoli, the capital of Libya and one of the most important cities in the country, is located on the coast, in the north, and is bathed by the Mediterranean Sea. It is the only area of the country where it rains from time to time, reaching 380 mm on average per year. That is why it is the only region that has vegetation ; the rest is just desert. Oasis, trees of acacia, and the flora typical of the Mediterranean, such as olive and citrus are the usual landscape of the capital where there are many birds, camels in the desert gazelles in some areas, snakes, scorpions, etc.

Location

Tripoli, located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in the northwestern part of Libya, is the current capital of this North African country, as well as its most important city.

Climate

Tripoli is located in the coastal area of the country so the atmosphere is generally humid. For this reason, high temperatures and extreme aridity prevail. The climate is Mediterranean, in summer the temperatures are close to 30ºC and in winter8ºC. The best time to visit the city is between November and March.

Natural environment

Because the city is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, some vegetation can be appreciated in its landscapes. The area has hardly any rivers, only a few streams with little flow supply the city. The oases, acacia trees and olive trees, typical of the Mediterranean climate, are the elements that characterize the coastal region. The rest is desert area.

Population

Most of the population of the Lebanese capital are Arabs and Berbers. The rest are population that comes from neighboring countries such as Greece, Malta, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, India and Tunisia. See population of Libya.

Economic development

The base of the country’s economy is agriculture and the main crops are cereals, fruits, vegetables and oilseeds. Another source of wealth for Libya, and specifically its capital, is fishing for tuna and sardines. The main industries are petroleum, chemical products and construction materials. The craft also contributes to the economy of the area.

Sightseeing

The most emblematic building in the city is perhaps, the Red Castle (Assai al-Haura), one of the emblematic buildings of Tripoli and in which a clear Italian and Turkish influence is appreciated due to the colonial periods. Another place of high cultural and tourist value is the Jamahiriya Museum, built with the support of UNESCO. In it you will find a collection of high quality art made up of statues, mosaics and antiques. In the center of the capital is the shopping and leisure center, Medina. Other interesting places to visit are: the city’s zoo and the nearby beaches.

Culture

Architecture

From an urban point of view, the city is divided into two parts: the old city, with a typical Arab and Turkish imprint, and the new city, with the residential neighborhoods. The old city is characterized by narrow alleys and souks or markets for weavers and craftsmen. There are several mosques with rich art treasures and beautiful 18th century gardens. The new city owes much to the architecture of the Italian period, with an elegant promenade and large avenues.

Heritage

The city has important museums such as the Natural History Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Ethnological Museum, the Epigraphy Museum, where Phoenician, Roman and Byzantine writings are preserved, and the Islamic Museum. Other points of interest are the Arc de Triomphe in honor of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, from the 2nd century, the Karamanli and Gurgi mosques and a 16th century Spanish fortress.

Crafts

One of the most important markets in the city is Benghazi where the visitor can find many clothes and household objects. Libya excels at jewelry making and haggling is one of the most common ways to negotiate price.

Gastronomy

The most typical dish in the area is couscous, although the country’s gastronomy is a mixture of Mediterranean and Lebanese cuisine, with Italian influence. Couscous is a dish made with meat of lamb or chicken and potatoes, very delicious and tasting must for those traveling to the country. On the other hand there is the sherba, a soup with many spices, oranges, apricots, figs and olives. The Alcohol is prohibited in the country, as required by Islam.

Religion

The religion most practiced among its residents is the Muslim, although some Catholics also reside in the city.

Holidays and traditions

The New Year’s celebration, Ras as-Sana, is one of the most important festivals in the country. Then there is Ramadan, in the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar, and Eid-al-Fitr to celebrate its end. Another important date is the Day of the Revolution, a non-religious festival that lasts a week and in which musicians, horses, folk groups, rallies, parades come together.

Transportation

Tripoli International Airport is located 34 kilometers south of the city, it is the most important in Libya in terms of passenger movement and the country’s main link with international destinations.

Sports

The most practiced sport in Tripoli is soccer ; In this city have their headquarters several football clubs of the Libyan league, these are: Al Ahly, Al Ittihad, Al Madina, Al Shat and Al Wahda. The city has one of the largest football stadiums in Africa, the June 11 stadium, which has a capacity of 67,000 people. At this stage several matches were played African Cup of Nations in 1982, including the final, where the team of Ghana became champion to the team beat Libya 7 goals to 6 in penalties.

Tripoli, Libya