Old Town of Ghadamès (1986)
Libyan Arab Jamahirya

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Libya 1995. Scenery of Ghadames.

Ghadamès, known as 'the pearl of the desert', stands in an oasis. It is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and an outstanding example of a traditional settlement. 

Its domestic architecture is characterized by a vertical division of functions: the ground floor used to store supplies; then another floor for the family, overhanging covered alleys that create what is almost an underground network of passageways; and, at the top, open-air terraces reserved for the women. 

  • Libya 1995. Scenery of Ghadames. 
Ghadames, located 683 km southwest of Tripoli, is reached either by land or by air. It offers to tourists comfortable accommodation in the middle of the desert. The town distinguishes itself by its shape and look which are both extraordinary. It is full of small covered streets which run like corridors, even through the houses that have flat intercommunicating terraces reserved for women only. 
  • Libya 1980. View of Ghadames. 

The inhabitants of Ghadames, (Cydamae in the Roman times), are the Touareg lovers of freedom and liberty. This oasis, in the far southwest of Tripoli, has seen lover of pleasant evening talk, and recreation, and pleasant seekers. 

Libya 1980. View of Ghadames.

Libya 1949. Air Post. Ghadames French Military Territory. Cross of Agadem.

People loved to hear the still of the night being broken by the music of a simple cane flute: or to attend the scene of a curtain of silence being lifted by the artistic fingers of a Bedouin woman playing a beautiful tune on strings attached to a small leather-coated drum: or the uproar of a tumuli on the dance ring with the songs of the Touareg. (Singular Targui). 

Ghadames Oasis maintained its own framework of customs and habits, and its own social ways of life. The existence of a water spring endowed on its special attraction and gave it vital life arteries. Thus, it became one of the most important commercial station for merchants caravans created commercial activity and brought substantial wealth to this beautiful Libyan oasis; the pearl of the desert. 

The most important oases in the Jamahiriya other than Ghadames, are the oases of Jalu, Aujla, Kufra and Jaghboub. 

  • Libya 1949. Air Post. Ghadames French Military Territory. Cross of Agadem. 

Sources and links:

Other World Cultural Heritage Properties in Libya (on this web site). Inactive links are not described on postage stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Libya-section, for more information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 20 jul 2006  
Copyright © 1999 Heindorffhus 
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