Tripoli (Trablos, 85 Km)
Tripoli 00m. Altitude- 85 km. from Beirut
This bustling town is the north's major city and tourist site. Founded by the Phoenicians in 800 B.C., the name they gave the city has never been discovered. The city's apetite for trade was inherited by each succeeding occupier and today Tripoli is a major port town as well as the second largest city in Lebanon.
Although there is no lack of ancient ruins in the area, in Tripoli the sites of historical interest date from its Crusader and Islamic periods. Of most interest are the Great Mosque, formerly the Crusader cathedral of St. Mary, the Teylan Mosque built in 1336, and in the port area (Al-Mina) the tower of the Lions or Borj Es-Sba, a beautiful example of Mamluk military architecture.
Dominating the city is the Crusader castle of St. Gilles - rebuilt and enlarged by the Mamluks and the Turks. Begun in 1100, the castle in its present form reflects the changes made through the centuries.
Tripoli's historic souks still cater to the everyday needs of Tripolitanians and a Mamluk period Turkish bath is still open for business.