Leptis Magna in Al Khum – Libya

Site of fabulous Roman ruins, a trip to Leptis Magna is a must for history buffs and anyone interested in the history of Libya and Rome. The place is also known as Lepcis Magna or Lectis Magna. The locals call it Neapolis.

How to Get There

To reach the place, travel 130 km east of Tripoli. You will end up in Al Khums. The site is the point that Wadi Lebda joins the sea.

What to See

This UNESCO World Heritage site has many attractions. These include the Arch of Septimus Severus, who was born in the city. Visitors will also see the Severan Basilica and the amphitheater. Much of the excitement lies in the fact that new discoveries are constantly being unearthed.

In June 2005, it was announced that archaeologists from Hamburg uncovered five 30 ft long mosaics. The mosaics show a warrior battling a deer, a group of people grappling with a wild boar and a gladiator standing over his fallen foe.

These mosaics were unearthed in the year 2000. But the announcement was postponed so looting could be averted. These mosaics can be seen in the nearby museum.


No trip to Leptis Magna would be complete without knowing a bit of its history. The earliest known inhabitants were the Phoenicians. Evidence suggests they settled in the area c. 1100 BC. But it wasn’t until the 4th century BC that the town became a power. That was the time when Carthage came to power.

It remained a part of Carthage until 145 BC when it was absorbed into the Roman Republic. By 200 BC though, it practically stood on its own. The city’s status changed when the Emperor Tiberius included it in the Roman province of Africa. It would go on to become one of the most important cities in Roman Africa.

Lectis Magna reached its peak in 193. A native of the city, Lucius Septimius Severus, would become Roman Emperor. Under his reign, Lectis Magna became wealthy and powerful. Such was its power that its only rivals were Alexandria and Carthage.


The admission fee is 3 LYD. The guide will cost 50 LYD. If you want to use a camera, there is an additional 5 LYD charge. The fee is 10 LYD for using a video.

Before you go on a trip to Leptis Magna, keep in mind that it opens at 8 in the morning until 6:30 pm. It is closed on Mondays.