"Qasr Al-Haj" Libya Things to Do Tip by worldtraveler55

Libya Things to Do: 206 reviews and 690 photos

Qasr Al-Haj

The extraordinary structure was built as a place to store the harvest of the surrounding area in the second haldf of the 12th century by Sheikh Abu Jatla.
Despite the name (qasr means castle), this structure was rarely used as a form of defence.
Instead it offered protection for the local crops necessary for the community's survival.
Constructed entirely from local rock and gypsum, the cool storage areas, sealed with doors made of palm trunks, warded off insects, thieves and inclement weather alike.
The main courtyard is breathtaking and like wandering into a self-enclosed, manmade canyon.
In all, there are 114 storage rooms in the qasr - exactly the same number as there are suras (verses or chapters) in the Quran.
There are three storeys of rooms above teh ground and another storey underground.
The basement rooms, of wich there are 30, were once used for the preservation of oil, while the rooms above ground stored barley and wheat.

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  • Written May 6, 2006
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