Crowning Jewel Leptis Magna Stands Desolate as a Decade of War in Libya

Once among the Roman Empire’s most beautiful cities, Leptis Magna lies neglected and shunned by tourists after a decade of war.

Visiting the area, a former Roman outpost on the south coast of the Mediterranean, is a voyage in time, a dive into history.

Leptis Magna is one of the most important archaeological sites in Libya. It is located about 110 km east of Tripoli. It was built by the Phoenicians in the first millennium BC and later became part of the Carthaginian Empire before being absorbed into the Roman Empire in 46 BC.

They are among the best-preserved Roman sites in the Mediterranean.

Among the many remains found in Severus’ home city, the marketplace, Severan Basilica, the Forum, the Amphitheatre, and the Severan Arch represent the beautiful Amphitheatre (dug into the ground of an old quarry), the colonnaded street, the Severn Forum, decorated with Gorgon heads, the massive Basilica, the Hippodrome, the Hadrian Baths, the Temples of Liber Pater, Hercules, Roma and Augustus, the Tiberio Arch, the Nymphaeum, the Oea Door, and the Palaestra. The existing Arch of Septimius Severus is a replica of the original arch, which has been moved to Tripoli.

The natural port at the mouth of the Wadi Labdah aided the city’s development as a major trading center. It also served as a market for agricultural products produced in the rich coastland region.

The violence that wracked Libya after the 2011 revolt that toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi stirred fears for the ancient ruins, prompting United Nations cultural agency Unesco to place them and four other Libyan sites on a list of global heritage in danger. So far, the areas have been mostly spared from the fighting.

As conflict eases, Libya hopes tourists can be tempted to visit the ancient Roman city of Leptis Magna.

This beautiful ancient city needs support to be passed on to future generations. And no visit to Libya is complete without seeing this magnificent Leptis Magna.

Related Articles

Back to top button