Cities of Libya. Tripoli
Tripoli is located in the northwestern part of Libya, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as being the capital and the largest commercial and industrial center of the country. This colorful city, which has a long history, but recently regularly plagued by military conflicts and coups, is very diverse and of great interest to travelers, but due to the turbulent political situation, few people now visit here.
Tripoli’s architectural make-up is that of a major North African metropolis. Opulent mansions and neatly trimmed green lawns contrast with dilapidated tenement houses and dirty streets where the lower classes live. In most neighborhoods, the buildings are close together in as small an area as possible, giving the neighborhoods the appearance of veritable stone jungles with endless mazes. The year 2011 was a catastrophic disaster for the city’s inhabitants, when the rebel army turned a large part of the city into ruins, killing thousands of civilians, in ceaseless battles with the government forces of Qadaffi. The war severely damaged the city’s economy and significantly altered its appearance. Some of the buildings are in a terrible state today, bearing the traces of numerous explosions and bombings. In addition, Tripoli has a poorly organized transportation industry and poorly organized modern communications. This is especially true of centralized television broadcasting, mobile communications and the Internet. The main religion in the capital of Libya, as well as in the whole country, is Islam, and the ethnic composition is formed by Arabs, Berbers and Tuaregs. Arabic is considered the official language.
The city of Tripoli covers an area of 400 square kilometers, with a population of about 200,000. Due to the introduction of daylight saving time in the country since 2013, the local time is now 1 hour behind Moscow time in summer and 2 hours in winter. The time zone is UTC+1 and UTC+2 in summer. The telephone code is (+218) 218.
A brief look back in history
According to historians, the city was founded by the ancient Phoenicians long before our era, and its original name was Ea. For many centuries it was an important trading port, and it still is today. The city was home to many Jews until 1945, but they left Tripoli for Israel after the great Jewish pogrom under the Italian fascist regime and the persecution that followed the end of World War II. In 1986, the Libyan capital was hit hard by an airstrike by the Americans accusing the state of terrorist activities. A little later, the UN imposed sanctions, which remained in force until 2003, after the lifting of which Tripoli, like the whole republic, felt a significant economic boost. Just eight years later, the capital was under renewed attack, becoming a major flashpoint in the civil war, actively supported by NATO airpower. Today, the situation in the city is stabilized, but no one can guarantee safety and tranquility here.
Tripoli has a typical Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry and winters are comparatively cool and rainy. The rainfall is highest between October and January, and May through September is sunny and dry. The hottest months are usually July and August, although it is not often as sweltering as in the central parts of the black continent.
How to get there
Tripoli’s international airport is 34 km from Tripoli serving not only international but also domestic destinations. There is also a large seaport on the coast.
The main modes of transport in the capital are cars and minibuses which are similar to minibuses.
Sightseeing and entertainment
The borough of Medina is the city’s main historical site, full of ancient buildings and narrow streets, where fragments of magnificent Roman columns recalling the former greatness have survived. Among the most important sites in Tripoli are the National Library building, the Oil Institute, the National History Museum with its unique exhibits, the Arch of Marcus Aurelius, dating back to Roman times and the Gurji and Karamanli mosques, characterized by traditional oriental decorations and splendor. The Red Castle with its bas-relief of Saint George, now a museum, the Ottoman Tower of Medina and the Martyrs’ Square, also known as Green Square, are worthy of particular note. The business district has grand modern buildings. Omar Mukhtar Street also plays host to an annual international industrial exhibition, bringing together representatives from dozens of countries, including the former Soviet Union. The city zoo, situated in a green area, is an excellent place for family recreation. In the vicinity of the capital there is a whole bunch of unique historic excavations, dating back to the Roman era.
The main culinary establishments are located in the center of Tripoli, offering visitors a variety of flavors of North Africa. Local restaurant menus always feature vegetables, meat, seafood, and more. The famous oriental sweets are a perfect accompaniment to the meal.
On the shelves of stores, markets and shopping centers in the capital of Libya, a wide range of products for all tastes at relatively low prices.
Tripoli is one of the main cities of the country, embodying the culture, traditions and customs of the Libyan people. After the fall of the Qadaffi regime and the establishment of the National Transitional Council, life here began to change and although today the city is still suffering the consequences of a difficult war for the Republic, it has retained many of the positive features that characterized it in peacetime.