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The city's old town is still unspoilt by mass-tourism, though it is increasingly being exposed to more and more visitors from abroad, following the lifting of the UN embargo in 2003. However, the walled medina retains much of its serene old-world ambience.
The Assaraya al-Hamra (the Red Castle), a vast palace complex with numerous courtyards, dominates the city skyline and is located on the outskirts of the medina. There are some classical statues and fountains from the Ottoman period scattered around the castle.
The Gurgi and Karamanli mosques, with their intricate decorations and tilework, are examples of the artistic skills of local craftsmen. Just outside the Gurgi mosque is the Arch of Marcus Aurelius, the only surviving Roman monument in the city. More and more palaces (especially from the Karamanli period) are also being restored and opened to the public.
The basic street plan of the medina was laid down in the Roman period when the walls were constructed as protection against attacks from the interior of Tripolitania, and are considered well planned, possibly better than modern street plans. In the 8th century a wall on the sea-facing side of the city was added.
The Jamahiriya Museum, a fine modern facility located in the Red Castle, is Libya's national museum. It houses many artefacts from the country's Roman and Greek periods, including treasures from the World Heritage sites at Leptis Magna and Sabratha, as well as such curiosities as the Volkswagen Beetle car driven by Gadaffi in the 1960s.
Tripoli is the largest and capital city of Libya.
Tripoli has a population of 1.69 million. The city is located in the northwest of the country on the edge of the desert, on a point of rocky land projecting into the Mediterranean Sea and forming a bay. Tripoli was founded in the 7th century BC by the Phoenicians, who named it Oea
Tripoli International Airport (IATA: TIP, ICAO: HLLT) serves Tripoli, Libya. It is operated by the Civil Aviation and Meteorology Bureau of Libya and is the nation's largest airport. Located in the town of Ben Ghashir 34km south of the city centre, Tripoli International is a hub for Libyan Airlines. The airport is also a hub for Afriqiyah Airways and Buraq Air.
Most flights leave Tripoli International Airport from the main International Passenger Terminal, while domestic flights leave through the National Terminal. The terminal capacity is 3 million passengers a year and the airport is currently handling around 1.5 million passengers a year.
Transport to and from Tripoli city center usually involves taking a taxi or shared taxi. Tour operators offer coaches to and from the airport connecting it with numerous hotels in the city centre.