The old city in Tripoli, the capital of Libya. It is considered the ancient center of the city of Tripoli, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. It is surrounded by a wall and contains a number of shops and cafes. The old city also contains a large number of archaeological and historical buildings, some of which date back more than 500 years. However, the largest percentage of those buildings that currently exist dates back to the period of the Ottoman and Italian occupations. In the old city there is a group of ancient buildings, including former headquarters of the consulates of countries such as Spain, France and the United States.
Aerial photo of Tripoli, showing the old city near the port. In 2009, the Libyan state began a program to restore and develop historical buildings in the old city. For example, the main building of the Banco de Rome in Libya, which was built in 1917, has now become a branch of the National Bank, as well as a Turkish prison building built in 1664 that later became the headquarters of the Spanish consulate to become a library for children. The old building of the Church of the Virgin Mary, which was built in 1615, has been restored, and part of it is now used as a church and another part as a gallery for displaying works of art.