Roman ruins at Sabratha

Travel to Sabratha – World Heritage Roman Ruins

Sabratha is located in the Zawia district northwest of Libya, about 65 kilometres west of Tripoli. Spectacularly located on the Mediterranean coast and rich in its history, this extremely well-preserved Roman city offers visitors exceptional sites worthy of a couple days of exploration.

Sabratha was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 and was the westernmost of the “three cities” of Tripolis.

Sabratha began as a settlement to service the coastal trade of the Carthaginians and was developed as a permanent site to act as a terminal for the trans-Saharan trade. The town’s port was established around 500 BC as a Phoenician trading-post that served as a coastal outlet for the products of the African hinterland.

Sabratha became part of the short-lived Numidian Kingdom of Massinissa before being Romanized and rebuilt in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.

The city was badly damaged by earthquakes during the 4th century, but was later on rebuilt on a more modest scale by Byzantine governors. Within a hundred years of the Arab conquest of the Maghreb, trade had shifted to other ports and Sabratha dwindled to a village.

Travellers to Sabratha can visit the Roman public arenas, the Temples of Liber Pater (Sirapis, Isis, and Hercules), the forum, the public paths, the Christian basilica, the ruins of the earliest Phoenician settlements, the Mausoleums, the magnificent late 3rd century theatre, and the seaward baths.

A variety of public baths, temples and fountains, with many first class mosaics can be seen in the adjacent Museum.

  • Spend a day exploring extensive remains of a well-preserved Roman city.
  • Discover beautiful mosaics with a Mediterranean backdrop.
  • Visit Sabratha’s excellent museum, jam-packed with ancient Roman relics.


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