Known as the capital of the North, Tripoli (Trablos or Trablus in Arabic, Tripoli ), 85 kilometers north of Beirut, has a special character all of its own.
Founded by the three cities of Sidon, Tyre and Arados island during the Persian era, it became the centre of a confederation, where Phoenicians met to debate their important affairs. Since its foundation, probably in the 9th century BC, until the end of the Crusader period, Tripoli was situated around the Al-Mina port district. After its destruction by the Mamlukes in 1289, however, it was replaced by a new town near the hill of the Crusader Castle of Raymond de Saint-Gilles, founder of the County of Tripoli. The castle has been renovated and changed many times during its history, most recently in the early 19th century.