03/12/2009 at 11:30 | Posted in Tripolitania | Leave a comment
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 Traveling 70 km south of Tripoli city you face a formidable wall of hard rock.  That is Jebel Nafusa, Jebel Gharyan or Al Jabal Al Gharbi(The Western Mountain).

Abughilan is your entry gateway to capital of the mountain region of old, Gharyan, or Ett-gassat اتغسات as well known by its local name, meaning ‘The Centre المركز’ or the ‘Reunion الملتقى’ in the ancient tongue of the peoples of Nafusa.

The mountain rises abruptly from the desert plain of Jefara to a height of over 750 meters, with a highest peak of a modest 968 meters. The mountains are awe-inspiring, bare, rugged, savage and without vegetation, however the fertile plains on the mountain high plateau are full of olive, fig , fruit trees and vineyards.

Abughilan means in English ‘The Father of Ghouls’. The terrible sound of the Gibble wind howling between the rocks of mountains and surrounding valleys probably inspired this fearful name to ancient travelers walking its man-made tracks on foot, donkey and horseback.

The modern road of Abughilan might have been tracing the tracks of the ancient Roman highway that was built by slaves during Roman times.  When the Italians invaded Libya they built the first new asphalt road climbing up in the mountain, which in turn was repaired after independence.  Another modern beautiful freeway was built during the seventies, after the revolution.  As soon as you drive up the winding road and reach the top, you find many shops of ceramics on both sides of the road selling all kinds of pottery of which Gharyan is well-known.


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