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Places to visit in Tripoli-Lebanon :
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Aaskar
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Al-Manzil
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Khayyatin
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Misriyyin
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Shawish
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Saboun


Khan Al-Aaskar                                                                            When the Mamluks raised Tripoli in 1289 the Crusader castle was burned out and was not habitable as a garrison center until it was restored by the na’ib of Tripoli, Emir Esendemir al-Kurji in 1308. So a barracks composed of three large buildings was built in the newly founded Mamluk city for the Sultan troops. The Khan al-Askar or "Soldiers’ Khan" was so well built that, with repairs, it was used by successive Ottoman and French forces down to modern times. The two northern buildings, entered from the northeast and northwest respectively, are separated from the southern building by a narrow alley. However, these edifices have been plastered and restored so often that they are impressive today only by their size.

The courtyards of the Khan are surrounded by pointed Mamluk arches and the main portals display Mamluk decorative motifs. Just inside the main front northeast entrance is a pointed arch gate, now walled up and forming only an alcove. The arch is flanked by two engaged columns, a fine example of Mamluk ornamentation. In back of the main Khan, half way down the narrow alley which separates it from the south building is another sculptured facade which has survived to our day. Inside the walled-up arch are carved stalactite and palm-leaf motifs.
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Khan Al-Manzil
The Khan al-Manzil was also built about 1309 by Esendemir al-Kurji. It displayed an ornate portal characteristic of early fourteenth century Mamluk style and craftsmanship used in Tripoli. Following the 1955 flood, the Khan was filled with debris and mud. It was subsequently decided to clear the right bank of Abou-Ali for a riverside street and the Khan was lifted, stone by stone, for the purpose of rebuilding it on another site. It is the finest example of a caravanersai which exists in Lebanon today.     Top page

Tailor's Khan ( Khan Al Khayyatin)
In the neighborhood of the Ezzedin baths there are two fourteenth century Mamluk khans facing each other. The Tailor’ khan which adjoins the baths on the north., built in 1341. Its street stalls and storehouses until this day house the dry goods merchants
and tailors of modern Tripoli. The Tailor’ khan is a sixty- yard long passageway with tall graceful arches on each side and ten transverse arches open to the sky. At the entrance an engaged Corinthian column is built in the brown sandstone wall and may be a Crusader Church pilaster with a re-used marble capital. There are other Roman granite column sections built into the walls in the vicinity.
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Egyptian Khan ( Khan Al-Misriryin)
The Egyptian Khan (al-Misriyin), so called probably because it was built by Egyptian Mamluks, is a conventional arcade two story khan around an open courtyard with a fountain pool in the center. The khan is mentioned in an inscription, an extract of the
foundation act of Saif ed-Din Aqturaq, the Chamberlain dated 1359, found in the al-Saqraqiya madrasah of Tripoli. Top page

Shawish Khan
One block distant from the al-Attar Mosque is an old Khan in a very poor state of conservation. Called the as-Shawish, it displays an old portal with remnants of machicolation. Within, built into the passage wall, is a Byzantine column section with twisted fluting, the only one known to exist in Tripoli. Top page

Soap Khan ( Khan Al-Saboun )
The Khán as-Sáboun (Soap Khan) was built at the beginning of the seventeenth century by Yusuf al-Saifi, pasha of Tripoli . Originally it was intended to serve as a military barracks to garrison Ottoman troops and it was purposely built in the center of the city to enable the pasha to control any uprising. It is a large imposing rectangular structure with two story arcaded corridors running around a fountain courtyard. The outer walls had a number of loopholes and arrow slits for defense purposes. In front of the building was an arched portal, flanked by stone benches for the pasha’s guards. A white marble plaque commemorates the building of this splendid military barracks of Tripoli.

During the battle of Anjar, Yusuf Pasha was taken prisoner. When Tripoli fell to Fakhr-ed-Din, the Ottoman garrison fled to join his routed forces in Syria. The army of Fakhr-ed-Din occupied the barracks briefly but in the years that followed the building stood empty and useless.

To the inhabitants of Tripoli this seemed to be a great waste so a petition was sent to Deir al-Qamar, the residence of Fakhr-ed-Din, with the request to turn the building into a soap factory and warehouse. From that day until the present time the Ottoman barracks have served as Tripoli’s flourishing Soap Khan or Khãn as-Sáboun.. Top page

Historical References

Photo Gallery


Khan Al Aaskar


Khan Al Khayyatin

Photo taken by: Eng.Lamia KHAYAT

Khan Al-Misryyin

Photo taken by: Eng.Lamia KHAYAT

Churches Clock Tower Districts Fountains Hammams Kalaa Khanqah Khans
Maarad Madrassah Mosques Palaces Soap factories Souks Statues Towers | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

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