Libya Tour Guide: Tripoli's Mosques

Libya Tour Guide: Tripoli's Mosques Last updated on Thursday 22nd April 2010

Mosque of Ahmad Pasha Karamanli

This is probably the most splendid mosque in the entire city. Located a short distance from the castle, at the entrance to the main souq, this mosque was built in 1711 by the founder of the Karamanli dynasty and Governor of Tripoli. At its centre is a twenty-five domed roof built over a sanctuary, which is decorated with very beautiful stucco work. In a separate room lie the tombs of Ahmad Pasha and his family, surmounted by an impressive octagonal minaret built in the distinctive Turkish style.

The En-Naqah Mosque

This is Tripoli's oldest mosque, and the present building is a mixture of dates; its last major additions were built in about 1610. It is often known as the camel mosque, after a story told about the Arab conqueror Amr Ibn al-As, who was said to have been offered large camel-loads of tribute by the citizens of Tripoli, presumably in return for a peaceful life. The conqueror is said to have refused the gifts, but asked instead for a mosque to be built in the city.

The roof of the mosque consists of 42 brick-built domes, supported by columns from various sources, some of which date from Roman times. The minaret is square in shape and its spiral stairway is made of plaster and palm wood.

The Gurgi Mosque

The elegant architecture of this mosque make it one of the most interesting to the visitor. It was built by Yussef Gurgi in 1833, to a 16-metre square plan. Its nine columns support a roof made up of sixteen small domes. The mosque's minaret, which is the tallest of all Tripoli's mosques, is octagonal in shape and has two balconies. The mosque contains a large amount of delicately ornate decoration which is most pleasing to the eye.

The Al-Jami' Mosque

Founded by Othman Ra'is in 1670, this mosque contains some interesting inscriptions. It is known as the 'Great Mosque' of Tripoli.

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