Explore the historic city of Sabratha which borders the Mediterranean Sea near Tripoli, Libya.
The city of Sabratha on the northwest coast of Libya was once one of the three cities in the ancient district of Tripolis, along with Oea and Leptis Magna. Sabratha started out as a Phoenician trading center, probably around 500 BCE.
In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the city was Romanized. Caesar's reorganization of Africa brought Roman culture influences into Sabratha. The area became more prosperous, expanding the city and erecting impressive buildings of sandstone, stucco, and later marble from Greece.
Explore the ruins
Sabratha is best known for its archaeological site, which has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982. Visitors to Sabratha today can still get an idea of its former architectural beauty from the ruins of buildings.
Near the sea, you can find the remains of Sabratha's Forum. Walk through impressive columns that were once part of a colonnade surrounding a hall which was likely a basilica for handling public issues.
Close to the Forum, you can find Sabratha's main baths. The baths were made from sandstone blocks and intricately decorated with mosaics.
Marvel at the ruins of Sabratha's theater, where the seating area and stage are still standing majestically for all to see. You'll notice a small section of seats separated from the rest of the audience by a stone wall. This area was for "important" guests who had their own entrances near the stage, on the sides of the theater.
Head to the Capitolium, a name that comes from Rome, used to describe the place where major temples were located. Sabratha's Capitolium was built up on a high podium, and you can explore the ruins of the temples.
Several temple ruins can be found throughout Sabratha, as temples were dedicated to deities from Roman, Egyptian, and Graeco-Egyptian mythology. Check out the site of the Temple of Hercules, where you'll see the remains of a statue and stone inscriptions.
This incredible archaeological site makes for a great day of wandering through history. You'll see plenty of preserved intricate details throughout, like monuments or works of art.
Stop at the museums
Explore some of the treasures excavated by archaeologists in the two on-site museums. At the Punic Museum, you'll find pottery, tombstones, mummies, and other artifacts from Ancient Carthage.
The Sabratha Museum is the bigger of the two museums, where you can see items found in Sabratha's tombs and private houses, like art, statues, and paintings. Check out the impressive bust of the god Jupiter. Detailed mosaics and elaborate stonework will leave you in awe.
Sabratha provides an educational day out for history buffs and art lovers, or anyone interested in the way past civilizations lived.