Ghadamis Old Town, UNESCO, Libya 

The old town of Ghadames is located in an oasis about 600 km south-west of Tripoli near Libya’s border with Algeria. It has been settled since pre-historic times, and was the location of a Roman garrison from 19BC.  But the characteristic buildings of the old town that remain today date from the period of prosperity associated with the booming of trans-Sahara trade from the 13th to 16th centuries.

The Old Town of Ghadames is roughly circular in layout and the outer walls of the houses around its perimeter are thickened to create an external fortification for the town.  The architecture of the flat-roofed houses adheres to a standard plan, with the ground floor used for storage, warehousing and business, with family living quarters on the first floor and the inter-connected roof-top terraces reserved for women.  The first floor rooms are often suspended over the narrow alleys below, creating a network of cool passageways through the town at ground level.

Epic Libya Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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