Libya Travel Blog› entry 11 of 22 › view all entries
Tripoli was founded by the Phoenician traders in the 5th century BC. It was later absorbed and shaped by the Roman Empire, the Muslim world from the East, the Ottoman Empire and the Italian occupation.
Today, the local Libyan and historic Turkish cultures have merged to create Tripoli’s rich and colourful heritage. This morning we take a walking tour of the city, along the narrow dusty streets of the old walled Medina and through its covered souks. After visiting the Arch of Marcus Aurelius we visit the Gurgi mosque and the beautifully renovated Karamanly house we’ll make our way to the Castle or ‘Red Fort’, built on the ruins of a Roman building dating back to the 1st century AD.
Although the castle is currently off-limits due to renovation work, we can still access Libya’s premier museum, Mathaf Al-Sarai Al- Hamra, which lies within the castle grounds and our visit reveals an impressive collection of Libyan, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Muslim antiquities.
Our fixer told us that they had recently caught a Chinese thief in the museum who had hidden himself away at closing time and then tried to break into some of the display cases. He waas caught by a security guard who heard the noise and thrown into jail. I imagine he will be there for some time!