Martyrs' Square, Tripoli

Martyrs' Square, Tripoli
Martyrs' Square
(Arabic: ميدان الشهداءMaydān ash-Shuhadā’)
The Martyrs' Square (then known as "Green Square") in 2007
Town square
Location: Tripoli, Libya

The Martyrs' Square (Arabic: ميدان الشهداءMaydān ash-Shuhadā’[1][2]; under the Gaddafi government Green Square الساحة الخضراء as-Sāḥah al-Khaḍrā’; during the monarchy Independence Square ميدان الاستقلال Maydān al-Istiqlāl; 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]



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

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]


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


  1. ^ The Independent, 31 August 2011. Gaddafi Son Offers to Surrender " 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". 
  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

Coordinates: 32°53′42″N 13°10′52″E / 32.895°N 13.18111°E / 32.895; 13.18111

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