Martyrs' Square, Tripoli

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Martyrs' Square
(Arabic: ميدان الشهداءMaydān ash-Shuhadā’)
Town square
The Martyrs' Square (then known as "Green Square") in 2007
The Martyrs' Square (then known as "Green Square") in 2007
Features: fountain
Location: Intersection of Independence Street, Omar Mukhtar Avenue, 24 December Avenue and Mizran Street
Tripoli, Libya
Coordinates: 32°53′42″N 13°10′52″E / 32.89500°N 13.18111°E / 32.89500; 13.18111

The Martyrs' Square (Arabic: ميدان الشهداءMaydān ash-Shuhadā’[1][2]); known as Green Square (الساحة الخضراء as-Sāḥah al-Khaḍrā’) under the Gaddafi government; Independence Square (ميدان الاستقلال Maydān al-Istiqlāl) during the monarchy; and originally (during Italian colonial rule) known as Piazza Italia ("Italy Square") is a downtown landmark at the bay in the city of Tripoli, Libya.[3] The main commercial center of the city surrounds the square.[3][4] The Square is also a main tourist attraction in Tripoli.It has a large legendary fountain done by an Italian architect at the centre of the square. The square is the meeting point of many different avenues. Omar Mukhtar Avenue is one of the longest in North Africa, it was built by Italians in the colonial time, and Libyans during the era of King Idris I. Independence Street branches from the square too, and it leads to the Palace of King Idris I. 24 December Avenue is also an Italian built avenue. Mizran Street is the last street that branches from the Martyrs' Square.

History[edit]

1935 postcard of Tripoli's Conte Volpi Corniche, the entrance to Piazza Italia visible on the right, with the Teatro Miramare behind. The old shoreline and seawall is on the left, before moving by landfill expansions.
Aerial view of Independence Square with the Red Castle Museum and the Royal Miramare Theatre (lower left side) during the 1950s.
Looking from Green Square north towards the sea. On the left is the Red Castle Museum (2008).

The square was originally constructed by the Italian colonial rulers on the site of the old bread market (sūq al-khubs), and it was expanded on several occasions during the 1930s.

During the Italian colonial period, it was called Piazza Italia ("Italy Square"). After Libyan independence in 1951, it was known as "Independence Square" during the Libyan monarchy (1951–1969). After the 1969 revolution by Gaddafi, the square was renamed again to "Green Square" to mark his political philosophy in his Green Book.[citation needed]

2011 Libyan civil war[edit]

During the 2011 Libyan civil war, there were reports of both anti-government protests (20 and 25 March) and a pro-Gaddafi speech rally (25 March) occurring at different times in the square.[citation needed]

On the night of 21–22 August, Libyan rebel groups took control of the area during the 2011 Battle of Tripoli and started referring to it as Martyrs' Square to dissociate the square from the Gaddafi government and to commemorate those who died in the fight against his government.[5][6][7] On Eid ul-Fitr (31 August) and again on 2 September, tens of thousands of Tripoli residents, including many women and children, gathered on Martyrs' Square to celebrate the end of Gaddafi's rule.[8][9]

Facilities[edit]

It features the Red Castle Museum, Libya's national museum, on one side, with a wide avenue leading towards the seafront with two tall pillars. On top of the pillars are an iron-cast, miniature wooden ship; the other one features a horseback rider.

The Royal Miramare Theatre used to be located across from the Red Castle Museum, but it was demolished by Gaddafi's government after the 1960s to create space for large demonstrations.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Independent, 31 August 2011. Gaddafi Son Offers to Surrender "..in Martyrs Square, the plaza formerly known as Green Square.." [1]
  2. ^ [2] Jalil's speech in Martyrs Square, The Guardian, 13 September 2011
  3. ^ a b "Green Square - Tripoli". 
  4. ^ "Libya Tripoly from Libyaonline.com". Libyaonline.com. 
  5. ^ Lamb, Franklin (25 August 2011). "Whither Gaddafi, Tripoli and Libya? – The Battle for Tripoli May Not Be Over". Foreign Policy Journal. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  6. ^ Staff (28 August 2011). "Sky Correspondent On 'Amazing' Tripoli Scenes". Sky News. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  7. ^ Garcia-Navarro, Lourdes (24 August 2011). "Libyan Rebels Struggle To Impose Order on Tripoli". NPR. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  8. ^ Joyful crowds pack Martyrs’ Square in Tripoli Euronews, 31 August 2011
  9. ^ Tripoli celebrates first post-Gaddafi Eid, Al Jazeera, 31 August 2011.

External links[edit]