Old Town of Ghadamès (1986)
Libyan Arab Jamahirya
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||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
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.
|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.
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.
||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.
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