Qaramanli house in Tripoli

Karamanly (Qaramanli) House Museum

Tripoli Historical Exhibition


the Karamanli House in Tripoli



The House of Karamanly, or al-Qaramanli House, was built in the second half of the 18th century, during the reign of Ali Pasha Al-Qaramanli, and was used by Yousuf Pasha until his death. The house was restored during the early 1990s and became known as Tripoli Historical Exhibition.

The house includes a fine fountain and mosaic-covered walls, with two floors: the ground floor comprises four rooms, including Assaddah Room, which is a room with a built-in wooden bed usually one meter high from the floor; a guest room; clothes room; toilet; and a kitchen. The first floor contains Dar Alqabou, which houses the Karamanli costumes and furniture from that period; the Bedroom (with traditional bed and embroidered cushions); Historical & Traditional Weapons Room, containing models dressed in traditional costumes from all periods of Libyan history; and Dar Alarasah (models of instruments used by the Sufis).



a marble stone detailing the foundation of the Karamanli House

This house is located in Tripoli's Old City (Al-Hara), and was built in the second half of the eighteenth century, during the rule of Ali Pasha Qaramanli (1754 - 1793). Previously the house was known as "The Harem House"; while during the second era of the Othomans it was occupied by the Consulate of Tuscania. In the 1994 the house was restored by the Old City Project, and consequently was rehabilitated as a cultural sight under the name of "Tripoli Historical Exhibition", and officially inaugurated  on the 27th of October  1994.  The house houses a good selection of the objects normally found in a Libyan house from that period, including furniture, kitchen gear, copper and brass ornaments, clothes, jewellery, and vintage gadgets such as a gramophone, telephone and a radio. The name Qaramanli is written in various forms including Al-Karamanli, Caramanli or Al-Qaramanli. The Qaramanli dynasty consisted of a number of rulers generally known as Pashas, who ruled from 1711 to 1835 in Tripolitania and later in Cyrenaica and Fezzan. The dynasty was founded by the Turkish Ahmed Pasha Al-Qaramanli, and ended by Ali II Pasha Al-Qaramanli.


a notice showing the entrance fees in Arabic and English
The above old notice showing entrance and camera fees.

Entrance Fees: 2 LYD; normal camera permission 2 LYD; digital & video camera permission 5 LYD. Current Entrance Fees: 3 LYD; camera: 5 LYD; video camera: 10 LYD.


the main door to the karamanli house
The main entrance to the museum house.


the inside view from the front door of the Karamanli House
The entrance door to the house.


a view of the court and the archs

a view of the corridor

The Karamanly Dynasty (1711-1835)

  • Ahmad I Pasha (1711 - 1745)
  • Mehmed Pasha (1745 - 1754)
  • Ali I Pasha (1754 - 1793)
  • Ali II Burghul Pasha Cezayrli (1793 - 1795)
  • Ahmad II Pasha (1795)
  • Yusuf Pasha (1795 - 1832)
  • Mehmed (1817)
  • Mehmed Ibn Ali (1824)
  • Mehmed (1826)
  • Mehmed (1832)
  • Mehmed Ibn Ali (1835)
  • Ali II Pasha (1832 - 1835)



The Living Room

a lady in traditional attire standing by the curtained door overlooking the hall



the same man and woman around the mirror
Man and a woman in traditional attire, sitting around a mirror.



The Bedroom

Dar An-Namousiyyah

a sign reading: the bedroom
This sign says: "The Bedroom" (Dar An-Namousiyyah).


the bed with side curtains
Stylish bed with embroidered sheets and hanging curtains.


a wider view of the bedroom

A lady sitting in her bedroom, nice and tidy.



The Clothing Room

(Dar Al-Albisah)

a sign reading: clothes room


a board in English showing some infor about the clothes room


closed display cabins


abernus: the berber hooded cloak

Traditional barnus (hooded cloak).







The Kitchen

kitchen utinsils on display on brick top
A traditional kitchen cutlery, pots and other cooking utensils.

The kitchen was restored recently to include  traditional kitchen cutlery traditionally found in Libyan kitchens, including the stone quern (the pistle & mortar), wooden bowls, copper and brass aparatuses and paraffin stoves, and clay pots and jars.


babour: paraffin cooking stoves
Old copper paraffin stoves.


large clay jars
Large clay jars.


large copper saucpans or cooking copper pots
Large copper pot.


copper and brass ornaments on display

Copper & brass ornaments in glass display cabins.


brass cooking stoves
Brass water heating stoves.


vintage copper and brass heaters and lights
Vintage brass and copper heaters and lights.





Silver & Gold Jewellery

amber necklace
Amber necklace.



silver jewellery on display
Traditional Libyan silver jewellery, showing the hands and the stars.



more silver jewellery



silver wide bracelets (deblej)
Silver bracelets, locally know as Dablej.



silver ladies shoes
Silver shoes.



gold jewellery
Gold jewellery: hands & stars.



coins on display
Various coins with labels



vintage gramaphone
Vintage brass gramaphone.


vintage radio with the usual gold lines and dark brown boxes
Vintage sixties radios.


vintage telephone
A vintage telephone and antique clock.


woden carved bench
Old carved wooden bench.