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"Qasr al Hajj" Libya Things to Do Tip by grets

Libya Things to Do: 206 reviews and 690 photos

  Qasr al Hajj granary
by grets

A qasr (the word means castle) is an ancient circular, fortified granary, completely enclosed, Berber architecture at its finest and an excellent insight into their way of life. Qasr al-Haj has the largest and the most spectacular example of one of these granaries.

The Granary
Built in the last part of the 12th century, the granary has 114 storage rooms, the same number as verses in the Koran, although some of the rooms are sub-divided into smaller areas for various types of crops. The storage cells are still in use. The fact that the granary is constructed entirely from local rock and gypsum helps keep it cool. The storage areas are sealed with doors made of palm trunks, which would help to keep out the rain as well as insects and of course thieves. Grain was so valuable in those days that the qasr could be compared with your local bank. The original builder and owner of the qasr, Sheikh Abu Jatla, was a deeply religious man, and he would distribute the wheat and barley we received in rent for storing grain in his qasr to the poor, or he would sell it and use the proceeds to improve the mosque or pay for the training of teachers to coach on the Koran in the Madrassa.

On my Qasr al Hajj page, you can also see pictures from the deserted Berber village of Tormisa, as well as our experience staying in a troglodyte lodge.


Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 11, 2005
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