Many courtyard houses from the Ottoman period survive within the city walls. These houses have a central courtyard, sometimes with a fountain, that serves as a focal point for family activity. The courtyard also provides cool, fresh air for the interior rooms. A covered balcony on the second floor encircles the courtyard and offers access to more private rooms, which are not otherwise interconnected. The houses have intricate decorative programs of tiles, painted ceilings, and carved stone. Although these houses display modest façades to the street, they are marked by carved stone doorways.
Sources: Islamic art and architecture in Libya. 1976. London: Libyan General Committee for Participation in the World of Islam Festival, 72.
Ward, Philip. 1969. Tripoli: portrait of a city. Cambridge, England: The Oleander Press, 75.
Warfelli, Muhammad. 1976. The Old City of Tripoli. Art and Archaeology Research Papers April: 2-18.