Modern Tripoli, which has a population of about 500’000, is divided into two
parts: El-Mina (the port area and site of the ancient city) and the town of
Tripoli proper. The medieval city at the foot of the Crusader Castle is where
most of the historical sites are located. Surrounding this is a modern
metropolis which is occupied with commerce, banking and recreation. The area
known as Al-Tall, dominated by an Ottoman clock tower (built in 1901-1902) in
the heart of downtown Tripoli, is the transportation center and terminus for
most taxi routes. When shopping in the old Souks or downtown, remember that gold
is a good buy, other popular items are Tripoli's famous sweets and traditional
olive oil based soap, waterpipes and brasswork.
At the southern part of Tripoli lies the International Fair Ground extending
over an area of 1 million m2, with its unique architecture and huge
possibilities. Designed by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Tripoli remains prosperous. It is the second largest city in Lebanon and still
an important port. Agriculture and small industries play a big role in the
economy of Tripoli. It’s fertile soil was put to good work since the Mamluks.
Presses extract oil from the olives harvested from the groves surrounding the
city, and small factories make soap for export from the extracted oil. Sugar is
extracted from the cane that Tripoli raised, sugar refining continued
uninterrupted from the first Arab occupation through the Mamluks till today.
Citrus, olive oil,and wool are the cities major exports.