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Tripoli

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Description: Along Lebanon's northern coast lies Tripoli, Lebanon's secondlargest city. Tripoli has a splendid medieval architectural heritage in the form of souks, mosques, and an imposing Crusader castle (St. Giles Citadel).
From the center of town, you can head west to Al Mina (the port area) and the Lion Tower (which dates back to the mid- 15th century), or east, to the enigmatic Old City. The Old City, a maze of narrow, winding streets dating back to the 14th century, has a number of significant historic sights, including the Great Mosque, the Church of St. John of the Pilgrims Mount, and the Taynâ,,l Mosque. Built on the ruins of a 13th-century Carmelite church, the Taynâ,,l Mosque features an imposing Arab-style portal. The Great Mosque displays several Mameluke features, including the intriguing clock in the minaret.
But Tripoli's most fascinating site is undoubtedly the well-preserved St. Giles Citadel, which the Crusaders called Mount Pilgrim. The inside of the citadel is a virtual city, with a labyrinth of corridors, surprise courtyards, greens spaces, and unexpected vistas. Modern Tripoli, a city of 500,000, is divided into two parts: the port area of Al Mina, and the town of Tripoli proper. Most of the historical sights are located at the foot of the St. Giles Citadel, and around these sights sprawls a bustling metropolis with various commercial and recreational activities. The area known as at-Tall and dominated by an Ottoman clock tower (built at the dawn of the 20th century), serves as the heart of the city and is the hub for all transit systems, including buses and cabs. Shoppers should head for the old souks, where gold is an extremely good buy. Other items on offer include Tripoli's famed sweets and traditional olive-oil based soap, waterpipes and brasswork.
For excellent fish restaurants, head to Al Mina, and for optimum accommodations, try the beach resorts located just south of the city.Outside of Tripoli proper lies the town of Qalamoun, which possesses a vibrant brass industry. Small workshops and showrooms, where brass bowls and candlesticks are available for sale, line the scenic streets.
 
 
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