Day 1: Arrive in Tripoli airport and meeting with our deputy then transfer to hotel.
Day 2: Tripoli – Sabratha - Benghazi.
Departure to Sabratha, it was selected as an Emporium, or trading post, by the Phoenician merchant. Sabratha holds one of the magnificent and interesting Roman Theaters and one of the most splendid mosaics of the Byzantine period. Sabratha as we see it nowadays is first and foremost a creation of the Roman genius for building cities. The Roman developed the commercial potential of Sabratha by using the port as an outlet for a trade route running through Ghadames to Central Africa. Ivory, Slaves and wild animals constituted the bulk of the traffic. Our visit will include, Mausoleum of Bes, discovered by Italian Antonio Di Vita as late as 1962 and dated back to the 2nd century B.C, to the South Forum Temple dated to 160 A.D, to the Basilica of Apoleius known as the Forum Basilica transformed in Christian Church. We continue our tour with the forum the center of the social life, and Anton Temple built in 90-95 dedicated to the joint Emperor Marcus Aurellus.
Then we'll come to the site to include the Basilica of Justinian, to the Curia, the baths, the Temple Os Isis, sunrise and sunset at Sabratha’s are solitary, bewitching. Without watchman tourists, the city breathes deeply and one respects the stillness, finishing with the mite of Sabratha’s theater the most notable Roman building of Sabratha dated to 175-200 A.D; facing the semi-circular triple-triered auditorium stands the great scaenae fronts, 25m high and composed of 108 Corinthian columns arranged in three storey which follow the gentle curves of the free apses that contain the three doorways familiar from Roman Theaters all over the Empire. Transfer into the fascinating Libyan desert through the Nafusa Mountain, stopping along the way at Nalut and visiting the Berber castle where Berbers used to store their grain and oil during their long transfers to new lands looking for water and vegetation, return to Tripoli, then flight to Benghazi overnight in hotel.
Day 3: Benghazi – Ptolemais - Qaser Libya - Albayda.
Breakfast, departure to Ptolemais; the city was found in the 3rd century BC and a port for the city of Barce, Ptolemais became capital of the province of Libya. Superior in the time of Diocletian and Capital of the Pentapolis around the 5th century A.D. The site present itself in a very modest way, however its very interesting and romantic, we start our visit with the Museum which host some of Ptolamais monuments like the 4 season mosaic and the fountain of the 6 dancing Menagi, move to the site where we find the remains of Arch of Constantine 311-312 A.D. the Columns Palace the most famous building in Ptolemais dated between the 2nd – 1st century B.C with an area of 37x1164m (6000 sq m) from which you already admired the mosaic of the Medusa during your visit to museum.
Continue towards the great cisterns a big complex of 15 cisterns; 4 to the north, 4 to the south, 3 to the west, 3 to the east and one central, 6 m deep and 5 millions 4 hundred thousand cubic m of water which arrives through a channel 25 km away from the city, finish of the visit, lunch at the site restaurant. Drive to Qaser Libya known the old Olbia as it had been referred to in the Sinesio (Bishop of Cyrene) letters in 5th century AD and was the residence of its bishop. It has two churches of a great religious interest. The western is known for its extraordinary architecture and eastern for its splendid 50 mosaics places (the originally came from the floor of western Basilica and depict a wide and interesting range of subject. The panels are in a beautiful condition and one of them depicts the only existing representation of the Pharos - lighthouse of Alexandria - one of the seven a wonders of the ancient world) later in the Turkish period the eastern church has been transformed into a fort, continue to Albyda city dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 4: Albyda – Cyrene – Apollonia – Benghazi.
Breakfast, departure for the excursion of the city of Cyrene, the history of the founding as Greek immigrants from Island (modern Santorin) has been handed to us as a mixture of legend and historical tradition. The date of this event is 631 B.C. king Battus the first ruled for 40 years over his tiny immigrant community wisely and moderately, Cyrene has been through different eras from the republican era 414B.C to Alexander the Great and Hellenistic rules 332 B.C, to the Romans, 96 B.C to the Byzantine since the late 324 A.D and finally to the Arab invasion in 635 A.D. Some of Cyrene famous men are Synesius 370-413 a member of a Cyrenean family and was an ambassador to Constantinople and proclaimed bishop of Ptolemais in 410 A.D, the excavation of both Apollonia and Cyrene started by lemair in 1705, and Beechey documented the ruins visible before excavation began in 1822 and by Pacho in 1824.
Visiting Cyrene, the forum and Agoraa, the forum of Proculus or Caesreum a great rectangular enclosure with internal porticoes, the original function of this building is still matter of dispute, the Agora which host many of Cyrene remains as the Naval Monument, the Capitolium and most important the Tomb of Battus the founder of the city. The Acropolis Hill which still yet to be excavated, continue downhill to visit the fountain and the Sanctuary of Apollo, which were for most their history, distinct zones. The Fountain of Apollo was the prime cause of City's tradition on this site, and was linked in legend, with the nymph Kura or Kurana a Greek maiden, whom Apollo wooed and brought to Libya as his price, the fountain is a torrent of water emerging from caver’s mouth on upper terrace.
The true spring lies at the end of 300 yards tunnel. In the heart of hillside on the left hand side of the fountain 5 circular Byzantine limekilns which consumed many of pagan statues. Moving down here id the mighty Sanctuary of Apollo its Greek and Roman propylea, inside the sanctuary we find temple of Apollo the most important monument which incorporate the remain of the three buildings. The sanctuary also includes the temple of Jason Magnus, the fountain of Cyrene, semi-circular construction surmounted by a statue of the nymph strangling a lion, Temple of Isis in which a statue of Egyptian goddess has been found and the Grotto of the priests, in the same area there also the Greek Theater transformed by the Roman in an Amphitheater.
Then we move to the Great temple of Zeus - alongside the Necropolis of Cyrene one of the most extensive cemeteries in the ancient world and cover many square miles. The visible multiple grave tombs number over 1200 and there are also several thousand of sarcophagi-the largest Temple of Cyrene. It is an Octostyle building of gigantic dimension slightly larger than the Parthenon of Athens and the temple of Zeus at Olympia constructed in an archaic Doric style around the 6th century B.C lunch in restaurant, afternoon excursion to Apollonia. Ancient Apollonia, which was Cyrene is port for a thousand years and its ruins from an essential part of the whole archaeological complex, originally constructed by the Greeks when they began to develop their naval merchant fleets, modern Sousa was founded in 1897 as a colony of Muslim refugees from Crete and there is non African strain in its population. It was extensively rebuilt in the Italian occupation as abort
The first important monument to be encountered is the Extra-mural church, only a corner of the outer walls of this church is visible. The church is remarkable for the traces of a triple apse – Triconchos - surviving in the cactus garden at its east and, the Hellenistic city walls of Apollonia are well preserved through the landward course, continue toward the theater which lies immediately outside the eastern Rampart, it is of a Greek type and of Hellenistic date. But it was remodeled under the Emperor Domitian 92-96 A.D, another monuments are the three churches western, eastern and central built around the 6th century. We conclude our visit with the museum which include some of the areas heritage, drive to Benghazi dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Tripoli.
Breakfast, full day dedicated to Tripoli, the old Oea, founded by Phoenician in the second Millennium B.C. and transformed by the Roman in 146 B. C. after the destruction of Carthage. Visit to the Arch of Marco Aurelio. Erected in honor of Emperors Marco Aurelio e Lucio Vero in 163 d. C. paid by a local citizen and magistrate and dedicated to these two Emperors, Archi is situated in N/E corner of old town, to the cross of two big road that through the Roman town in all wideness and longness. After we visit Gorgi’s Mosque built on 1834 from Yusef Gorgi admiral of Turkish navy, relative of gubernator Yusef Pasha. We walk around in old Medina, have lunch in typical restaurant and after we continue with visit to the National Museum which houses a fine collection of the country’s archaeological heritage, antiquities, classical statuary, fine mosaics, historical and prehistorical artifacts. Dinner in hotel or in restaurant.
Day 6: Tripoli – Leptis Magna - Tripoli.
Breakfast departure to Leptis Magna, one of the best – preserved cities of antiquity. Phoenician merchants around the beginning of the first of millennium B.C founded it. The great Emperor Severus born in Leptis in 145 AD turned his attention to his native city making substantial changes which every visitor could witness. The visit starts with the Arch of Septimius Severus standing at the beginning of the main north – south street the Cardo Maximus, where this intersects the east west street the Decumanus Maximus, dedicated to the Severus built in 203 A.D to celebrate the arrival of the great Emperor, to the Palastra a place for sport and games which is parallel to the Baths of Hadrian built in 126-127, remodeled in the time of the Emperor Commodus 180-192, continue to the Nymphaeum and the Street of Colonnades.
Built under Severus and dedicated to the nymphs, it is a semicircular construction containing a pool and fountain, and surrounded by walls, to the Severus Forum and the adjoining Basiltca which are the major extant large-scale building in Leptis Valley, sheltered from the sea by rocks to the north and east, continue with the Old forum which dated to the beginning of the imperial era, in the northern corner of the forum are the remains of tiles from the time of the Emperor Augustus 30 B.C – 14 A.D during the governorship of Calpurnius. Stop for lunch in restaurant Addiafa near the Site, continue at the visit with the Museum and finally with the Amphitheater built in the period of Nero around the year 56 A.D on a natural slope of soft sandstone. It was renovated and enlarged in the 2nd century A.D and again under the Severus. Near the Amptheatre was a small temple of the famous Artimes, or Dlana, of Ephesus in Westren Asia. Drive to Tripoli dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight htl.
Day 7: Tripoli.
Breakfast, free morning for little shopping in the old city Souk, transfer to airport and departure for home destination.
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Africa Libya Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History