Famous Roman mosaics
The place today called Qasr Libya, the Libyan Castle, was ancient Olbia. Qasr Libya is in the western end of the Akhdar Mountains.
Olbia was apparently a small place even then, but housed two fine basilicas which were discovered during dam construction. They contained unique mosaics, dating back to the middle of the 6th century, a period during which Libya's cities were Christian.
The mosaics of the buildings are partly found in situ, partly in the local museum. The Eastern Church had 50 individual panels covering its floor, which now are exhibited in the museum. The panels show simple, effective images, of birds, beasts, fish, figures and buildings. The middle photo shows a satyr, which proves that pre-Christian ideas still had impact. One panel is especially worth noting, as it is one of few depictions of the Pharos lighthouse of Alexandria, in ancient times counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The pieces of the mosaics are slightly less than 1 cm diametre, belonging to the Hellenistic school of mosaics.
Out of the museum, the two churches from where the mosaics were extracted and an Ottoman fort is worth passing by, but only complete the image of the place.
Eat and Sleep
There are reportedly no hotels or restaurants at Qasr Libya. Al-Bayda is your best base, al-Marj only has one rather poor hotel.
Shared taxis run between al-Bayda and al-Marj, allowing easy connection to either town.
45 km east: Al-Bayda
60 km west: Al-Marj
Other spelling / Qasr Libia