Ghadames-situated at the beginning of the Sahara, an ancient Caravanning center, a traditional settlements in Libya reflect man’s response to the harsh environmental conditions and the need to sustain the social organization and respect social and cultural traditions, the old town of Ghadames is the best Libyan Arab the city is still a ‘living bridge between traditional and cotemporary architecture’ in the whole country. It has a total area of 75 hectares, including buildings, palm groves and gardens, Ghadames oasis forms a part of the sub region of Gharyan, one of the five sub regions of the Tripoli region. Moreover, it is one of the most important trade routes, connecting central Africa with the Mediterranean sea coast. One story records that a party of travelers from Yemen passed through the valley where Ghadames is located. They stayed overnight and when they moved on in the morning, they forgot their food container.

Later they remembered the container and they recalled that they had left it behind where they had eaten their lunch the previous day. A horseman of the party came back to the place to find the container, the horse dug with his leg in the earth and water came out and for this reason, ‘the source of the existing spring is called “horse spring” (Eyn El- Faras).

This story explains the origin of the name Ghadames which means ‘lunch of yesterday . The Arabic name contains two words Ghada which means lunch or food and Ames which means yesterday.

Ghadames oasis has been colonized by many countries as have other parts of the country.

Paleolithic and Neolithic CYDAMUS. Under the Libyan – born emperor Septimius Severus, it became Romans colonized all the country when general Cornelius Balbus camped in the in the oasis, which the Roman called the third advanced military post 200 Km to the south – west of the Roman ‘limes’. In the Byzantine times it had a church and a bishop. The oasis was conquered by the Arab army sent by Omar Ben El-Ass in 47 AH ( AD 667)

The Libyan city of Ghadames is renowned for its unique style of architecture, traditions and culture

Amongst these interesting traditions is the one found in a typical Ghadames home where a small peephole is made into the front door. A visitor would look through it inside the house at a reflection in a mirror hung on the wall opposite the door. This mirror reflects the picture of an oil lamp placed on a shelf.

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