Tripoli is the capital, largest city, principal harbour and biggest commercial and manufacturing centre of the North African country of Libya. Tripoli is located in the north-west of Libya and is situated on the Mediterranean Sea. The city has a population of some 1.68 million people.
|POPULATION :||City: / Metro: 3,200,000|
|FOUNDED :||7th century BC|
|TIME ZONE :||CET (UTC+1) Summer: CEST (UTC+2)|
|LANGUAGE :||Arabic, Italian, English|
|RELIGION :||Sunni Muslim 97%, other 3%|
|AREA :||400 km2 (200 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||81 m (266 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||32°54′8″N 13°11′9″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 50.2%
• Female: 49.8%
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+218 21|
Prior to the conflicts of 2011 the city had a reputation as a good place to escape from the pressures of today's modern life. It might pay to wait until things have returned to some sort of normality before venturing out and about but there are wonderful beaches within driving distance, and the Old City and the Museum are good for hours of exploration. Adventurous types might try the nightclub on the 3rd floor of the 3rd building in the downtown tower complex. Like any proper nightclub it only opens at 11PM. A non alcoholic beer will set you back a small fortune, and, like in Italy and Paris, there is a charge to sit at a table.
The city was founded in the 7th century BC, by the Phoenicians, who gave it the Libyco-Berber name Oea suggesting that the city may have been built upon an existing older native Berber town. The Phoenicians were probably attracted to the site by its natural harbour, flanked on the western shore by the small, easily defensible peninsula, on which they established their colony.
By the later half of the 2nd century BC it belonged to the Romans, who included it in their province of Africa, and gave it the name of "Regio Syrtica". Around the beginning of the 3rd century AD, it became known as the Regio Tripolitana, meaning "region of the three cities"
In spite of centuries of Roman habitation, the only visible Roman remains, apart from scattered columns and capitals (usually integrated in later buildings), is the Arch of Marcus Aurelius from the 2nd century AD.
According to al-Baladhuri, Tripoli was, unlike Western North Africa, taken by the Muslims very early after Alexandria, in the 22nd year of the Hijra, that is between 30 November 642 and 18 November 643 AD.
In the early part of the 19th century, the regency at Tripoli, owing to its piratical practices, was twice involved in war with the United States. In May 1801, the pasha demanded an increase in the tribute ($83,000) which the US government had been paying since 1796 for the protection of their commerce from piracy under the 1796 Treaty with Tripoli. The demand was refused, and a naval force was sent from the United States to blockade Tripoli.
In 1835, the Ottomans took advantage of a local civil war to reassert their direct authority. After that date, Tripoli was under the direct control of the Sublime Porte. Rebellions in 1842 and 1844 were unsuccessful. After the French occupation of Tunisia (1881), the Ottomans increased their garrison in Tripoli considerably.
Italy had long claimed that Tripoli fell within its zone of influence and that Italy had the right to preserve order within the state.Under the pretext of protecting its own citizens living in Tripoli from the Ottoman government, it declared war against the Ottomans on 29 September 1911, and announced its intention of annexing Tripoli. On 1 October 1911, a naval battle was fought at Prevesa, Greece, and three Ottoman vessels were destroyed.By the Treaty of Lausanne, Italian sovereignty was acknowledged by the Ottomans, although the caliph was permitted to exercise religious authority.
Tripoli was controlled by Italy until 1943 when the provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were captured by Allied forces.
On 15 April 1986, U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered major bombing raids, dubbed Operation El Dorado Canyon, against Tripoli and Benghazi, killing 45 Libyan military and government personnel as well as 15 civilians. This strike followed US interception of telex messages from Libya's East Berlin embassy suggesting the involvement of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in a bomb explosion on 5 April in West Berlin's La Belle discotheque, a nightclub frequented by US servicemen. Among the alleged fatalities of the 15 April retaliatory attack by the United States was Gaddafi's adopted daughter, Hannah.United Nations sanctions against Libya were lifted in 2003, which increased traffic through the Port of Tripoli and had a positive impact on the city's economy.
In February and March 2011, Tripoli witnessed intense anti-government protests and violent government responses resulting in hundreds killed and wounded. The city's Green Square was the scene of some of the protests. The anti-Gaddafi protests were eventually crushed, and Tripoli was the site of pro-Gaddafi rallies.Several months after the initial uprising, rebel forces in the Nafusa Mountains advanced towards the coast, retaking Zawiya and reaching Tripoli on 21 August. On 21 August, the symbolic Green Square, immediately renamed Martyrs' Square by the rebels, was taken under rebel control and pro-Gaddafi posters were torn down and burned.
Tripoli has a hot semi-arid climate with long, hot and extremely dry summers with relatively wet and warm winters.
Its summers are hot with temperatures that often exceed 38 °C (100 °F); average July temperatures are between 22 and 33 °C (72 and 91 °F).
In December, temperatures have reached as low as 0 °C (32 °F), but the average remains at between 9 and 18 °C (48 and 64 °F).
Tripoli lies at the western extremity of Libya close to the Tunisian border, on the continent of Africa. Over a thousand kilometres separates Tripoli from Libya's second largest city, Benghazi. Coastal oases alternate with sandy areas and lagoons along the shores of Tripolitania for more than 300 kilometers (190 mi).
Tripoli is one of the main hubs of Libya's economy along with Misrata. It is the leading centre of banking, finance and communication in the country and is one of the leading commercial and manufacturing cities in Libya. Many of the country's largest corporations locate their headquarters and home offices in Tripoli as well as the majority of international companies.
Major manufactured goods include processed food, textiles, construction materials, clothing and tobacco products. Since the lifting of sanctions against Libya in 1999 and again in 2003, Tripoli has seen a rise in foreign investment as well as an increase in tourism. Increased traffic has also been recorded in the city's port as well as Libya's main international airport, Tripoli International.
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