Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Roman Ruins, Libya

Leptis Magna, Libya

"Brief Description
Leptis Magna was enlarged and embellished by Septimius Severus, who was born there and later became emperor. It was one of the most beautiful cities of the Roman Empire, with its imposing public monuments, harbour, market-place, storehouses, shops and residential districts."
Leptis Magna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was a prominent city of the Roman Empire.  The ruins are at Al Khums, Libya, about 130 kms east of Tripoli.  Originally settled by the Phoenicians around 1100 B.C. it was overtaken by the Romans in the 2nd century B.C.

Arch of the Roman emperor Lucius Septimius Severus (A.D. 146-211)
Hadiranic Roman baths 126-127 A.D. were the most luxurious baths in Libya.

Sabratha, Libya
These Roman ruins were well preserved under sand for many centuries.

Sabratha is considered the most beautiful ruins along the Mediterranean and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Originally a Carthaginian (500 B.C.) Trading Post, then an important settlement to the Greeks around 2nd century B.C., the city prospered under Romans which are the ruins we see today.

Rear view of the partially restored outer ring of the theater.
Ruins .......
Theater of Sabratha (2nd century A.D.)
Theater of Sabratha (2nd century A.D.)
View towards the Curia or Council Chambers forecourt
There are columns everywhere from various market places (vegetable, fabric and more).
It is a wonderful area for walking around.  Wherever you go there are beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Mausoleum of Bes, 2nd century B.C., mostly rebuilt by Libyan archaeologists in the 1920's.  Nowadays it is impossible to tell the original work from the restorations.
Close up of the lions on the column/monument.

Shown below are some of the mosaics still on the ground at Sabratha (I think at the seaward baths).

Please keep the people of Libya in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time for them.  When Libya opens up for tourism I hope that I have shown you there is much to see in this country.  We went on tour with Travel Dynamics, experts in small cruise ship tours and we thank them for their wonderful hospitality.

Next stop on this tour was Tunisia where the recent troubles started.  Tomorrow I will show the photographs from Tunisia.


  1. Even more extraordinary... The amphitheatre reminds me of the one in Merida on the Via de la Plata which I visited just over a year ago.

  2. Thanks Robert. I was reminded of Sabratha when I was in Merida but I do think Sabratha the best preserved, of course Sabratha was under sand for centuries.

    Later today, must sleep first, I will post mosaics from the Bardo in Tunis which is a fantastic collection. Then on Friday I will be posting the ruins of Bulla Regia in Tunisia - I guess you can tell we were on a Roman ruins tour.