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Tripoli Cathedral

Tripoli Cathedral (Italian: La Cattedrale di Tripoli; Arabic: كاتدرائية طرابلس‎) is a former Roman Catholic church located in Tripoli, the capital of Libya. It is situated on the Algeria/Elgazayer Square (Maidan al Jazair/Maydan elgazayer) in the city centre. It was converted into a mosque in 1970[1], with the St. Francis Pro-Cathedral now serving as temporary cathedral for the Apostolic Vicariate of Tripoli.

Tripoli Cathedral
The Cathedral of Tripoli in the 1960s
AffiliationCurrently Islam; formerly Roman Catholic Church
RiteAfrican Rite
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusCathedral
LocationTripoli,  Libya
Tripoli Cathedral is located in Libya
Tripoli Cathedral
Shown within Libya
Geographic coordinatesCoordinates: 32°53′26″N 13°11′9″E / 32.89056°N 13.18583°E / 32.89056; 13.18583


The Tripoli Cathedral was built circa 1923 and officially opened in 1928, during the Italian Libya colonial era.[1] The original architect was Saffo Panteri, who designed the Cathedral in a Romanesque style with a cupola (dome) reaching the height of 46 meters in total. The belltower (campanile) was decorated with Venetian style engravings.

The Tripoli Cathedral was the second commissioned Catholic church in the city, with the first commissioned Santa Maria degli Angeli, constructed by the Maltese community in 1870.[2]

There were around 50,000 Catholics in Libya (mostly in Tripoli and surroundings), comprising less than one percent of the population.[citation needed] Most of the Catholic population was composed of the remaining Italian Libyans, Maltese Libyans, Filipinos and other Catholic migrants.[citation needed] Most of whom had already left Libya by 2010 - 2015 and the 2011 civil war.[citation needed]

Libyan architects have also contributed to its construction, notably Othman Najeem[citation needed] contributing to interior decoration work.

Gamal Abdel Nasser MosqueEdit

The Algeria Square Mosque in 2012

After rising to power, the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi converted the Tripoli Cathedral into a mosque, the Gamal Abdel Nasser Mosque.[3] After having been significantly modified, many of its original features were removed and replaced with more modern Arabesque-style architecture.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Middle East Annual Review. Middle East Review. 1977. p. 262. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  2. ^ TRIPOLI OF BARBARY by Romeo Cini,, Accessed 28 December 2009.
  3. ^ "Tripoli Cathedral". New Statesman. 138: 26. 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2017.

External linksEdit