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Tripoli - Khan Al Sabun

 

Tripoli - Khan Al Sabun

  One of the most notable facets of historical Tripoli, still in use today. There are several khans in the souks. Kh`an-as-S`aboun built at the beginning of the seventieth century.  Originally it was intended to serve as a military barracks to garrison Ottoman troops and it was purposely built in the center of the city to enable the pasha to control any uprising.

 

 

 
Khan Al Sabun

It is a large imposing rectangular structure with two story arcade corridors running around a fountain courtyard. The outer walls had a number of loopholes and arrow slits for defense purposes. In front of the building was an arched portal, flanked by stone benches for the pasha’s guards. A white marble plaque commemorates the building of this splendid military barracks of Tripoli. The battle of Anjar Tripoli fell to Fakhr-ed-Din, the Ottoman garrison fled to join his routed forces in Syria. The army of Fakhr-ed-Din occupied the barracks briefly, but also in the years that followed the building stood empty and useless.

To the inhabitants of Tripoli this seemed to be a great waste so a petition was sent to the residence of Fakhr-ed-Din, with the request to turn the building into a soap factory and warehouse. From that day until the present time the Ottoman barracks have served as Tripoli’s flourishing Soap Khan or Khan as-Saboun.

 

Lebanese Ministry of Tourism

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