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Qasr el-Haj

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The defendable circle

Qasr el-Haj, Libya

Qasr el-Haj, Libya

Qasr al-Haj in the Nafusa Mountains is a stunning structure, almost more impressive if you don't know its purpose. The accidental visitor may think it was a form of fortified village, in which families lived on top of each other, in rooms simply known as ghurfas.
Rather it is a storage facility for a partly semi-nomadic and partly settled community. The qasr protected grains and everything else that might be stolen. Peoples moved around the area carrying only what was necessary for the everyday needs.
The large square in the middle, served many purposes, market place or even space for locals should the community be attacked by strangers.
There are exactly 114 ghurfas here, a number corresponding the chapter of the Koran. There are three storeys above ground, and one underground. Many ghurfas are still in use by local farmers.
Qasr al-Haj may be the most impressive ghurfa in Libya, challenging the very finest of Tunisia (see Ksar Ezzahra and Ksar Ouled Soltane).

Qasr el-Haj, Libya

Eat and Sleep
There is absolutely nothing in Qasr al-Haj. Jadu, Nalut or Yefren are nearby towns with necessary services.

There is no direct public transportation to Qasr al-Haj, but in Nalut you will be able to find shared taxi or micros passing by. This part is easy, getting out of Qasr al-Haj is more difficult, since most means of transportation may pass this point with all seats taken.

Going Next
40 km east: Jadu
80 km southwest: Kabaw
100 km west: Nalut
100 km east: Yefren
230 km northeast: Tripoli

By Tore Kjeilen