Old Town of Ghadam├Ęs

ghadamesDate of Inscription: 1986
N30 7 60 E9 30 0

Ghadames is an oasis town in the west of Libya. It lies roughly 549 km in the southwest of Tripoli, near the borders with Algeria and Tunisia. The oasis has a population of 7000 Tuareg Berbers. The old part of the town, which is surrounded by a wall, has been declared World Heritage of the UNESCO. Each of the seven clans that used to live in this part of the town had its own district, of which each had a public place where festivals could be held. The first records about Ghadames date from the Roman period, when there were troops in the town from time to time. The Roman name for the town was Cydamus. Houses in Ghadames are made of mud, lime, and palm tree trunks with covered alleyways between them to offer good shelter against summer heat. In the 1970s, the government built new houses outside of the old part of the town. However, many inhabitants return to the old part of the town during the summer, as its architecture provides better protection against the heat.