Tripoli, Lebanon


Clockwise from top left: Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles, Mansouri Great Mosque minaret, Mamluk architecture, bay view, and a Syriac Catholic church
Clockwise from top left: Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles, Mansouri Great Mosque minaret, Mamluk architecture, bay view, and a Syriac Catholic church
Tripoli is located in Lebanon
Coordinates: 34°26′N 35°51′E / 34°26′N 35°51′E / 34.433; 35.850+3
The walled Nahr Abu Ali at Tripoli

Tripoli (Arabic: طرابلس‎ / ALA-LC: Ṭarābulus[a]) is the largest city in northern Lebanon and the second-largest city in the country. Situated 85 kilometers (53 miles) north of the capital Beirut, it is the capital of the North Governorate and the Tripoli District. Tripoli overlooks the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and it is the northernmost seaport in Lebanon. It holds a string of four small islands offshore, and they are also the only islands in Lebanon. The Palm Islands were declared a protected area because of their status of haven for endangered loggerhead turtles (Chelona mydas), rare monk seals and migratory birds.

Even though the history of Tripoli dates back at least to the 14th century BCE, the city is famous for having the largest Crusader fortress in Lebanon (the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles), and it has the second largest amount of Mamluk architectural heritage on earth (behind Cairo).

With the formation of Lebanon and the 1948 breakup of the Syrian-Lebanese customs union, Tripoli, once on par in economic and commercial importance to Beirut, was cut off from its traditional trade relations with the Syrian hinterland and therefore declined in relative prosperity.[2]

Tripoli borders the city of El Mina, the port of the Tripoli District, which it is geographically conjoined with to form the greater Tripoli conurbation.


Tripoli had a number of different names as far back as the Phoenician age. In the Amarna letters the name "Derbly", possibly a Semitic cognate of the city's modern Arabic name Ṭarābulus, was mentioned, and in other places "Ahlia" or "Wahlia" are mentioned (14th century BCE).[3] In an engraving concerning the invasion of Tripoli by the Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II (888–859 BCE), it is called Mahallata or Mahlata, Mayza, and Kayza.[4]

Under the Phoenicians, the name Athar was used to refer to Tripoli.[5] When the Ancient Greeks settled in the city they called it Τρίπολις (Tripolis), meaning "three cities," influenced by the earlier phonetically similar but etymologically unrelated name Derbly.[6] The Arabs called it Ṭarābulus and Ṭarābulus al-Šām (referring to bilād al-Šām, to distinguish it from the Libyan city with the same name).

Today, Tripoli is also known as al-fayḥā′ (الفيحاء), which is a term derived from the Arabic verb faha which is used to indicate the diffusion of a scent or smell. Tripoli was once known for its vast orange orchards. During the season of blooming, the pollen of orange flowers was said to be carried on the air, creating a splendid perfume which filled the city and suburbs.[7]

A panoramic view of modern Tripoli with its distinctive skyline
Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Tripoli (Livan)
беларуская: Трыпалі (Ліван)
български: Триполи (Ливан)
brezhoneg: Tripoli (Liban)
Esperanto: Tripolo (Libano)
Bahasa Indonesia: Tripoli, Lebanon
kalaallisut: Tripoli, Lebanon
മലയാളം: ട്രിപ്പൊളി
مازِرونی: طرابلس (لبنان)
Bahasa Melayu: Tripoli, Lubnan
Nederlands: Tripoli (Libanon)
norsk nynorsk: Tripoli i Libanon
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Tripoli (shahar)
português: Trípoli (Líbano)
română: Tripoli, Liban
shqip: Tripoli
Simple English: Tripoli, Lebanon
slovenčina: Tripolis (Libanon)
slovenščina: Tripoli, Libanon
српски / srpski: Триполи (Либан)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Tripoli (Liban)
Türkçe: Trablusşam
українська: Триполі (Ліван)
vepsän kel’: Tripoli (Livan)
Tiếng Việt: Tripoli, Liban