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Murzuk (Libya)
Coordinates 25 ° 54 '  N , 13 ° 53'  E Coordinates: 25 ° 54 '  N , 13 ° 53'  E
Basic data
Country Libya


Residents 12,746 (2010)
Murzuk fortress
Murzuk fortress

Murzuk (also Mursuk or Marzuq ; Arabic مرزق, DMG Murzuq ) is a city in Libya with 12,746 inhabitants (calculation for 2010) and the historical center of Fessan (Fezzan). Murzuk is the capital of the municipality of the same name, Murzuq .


Murzuk is 120 kilometers south of Sabha , the political and economic center of Fessan, and is an important traffic junction in the direction of southern Sahara .



Murzuk replaced Zuwaylah as the center of Fessan in the 12th century and was the most important place in this Sahara region until the 20th century . This importance was based on the function as a hub for the Trans-Saharan trade on the " Bornu Strait" between Lake Chad and Tripoli . There was a large slave market here .

Due to its economic importance, Murzuk was also the seat of the rulers of Fezzan. The city began to decline in the 19th century when the slave trade was stopped by the colonial powers in West Africa and malaria epidemics increased due to the salt marshes on the northern edge of the city .

Modern times

On October 29, 1798, Friedrich Konrad Hornemann reached Murzuk on behalf of the African Association and later reported about it in his travel report. The Africa explorer Heinrich Barth came to Murzuk on May 6, 1850 as part of the official English “African Mission” . According to his description, the city was then surrounded by a clay-like wall with three gates to the east (main gate), north and west. A sketch by his hand also shows in particular the residence of the Turkish governor, the barracks, the mosque, the house of the Sheikh of Bornu and the English vice consulate. Heinrich Barth considered the expansive esplanade of the city to be important for Murzuk's relations with the Arab countries and Sudan, making a large part of the city airier but also more prone to the heat. The population at that time was 2,800 people. The town's plantings were widely scattered in the area and were noticeably sparse.

In 1869 the German African explorer Gustav Nachtigal and the Dutch African explorer Alexandrine Tinné met in Murzuk .


After the Italians had occupied Murzuk for the first time in 1914, it was finally conquered in 1930. During the Italian rule, which was followed by a period of French occupation until Libya became independent in 1951, Murzuk lost his leadership role in Fessan to Sabha. Nevertheless, the population grew and in 2005 Murzuk had 44,000 inhabitants.

During the civil war in Libya in 2011, the rebels claimed to have captured Murzuk on August 17th. This was preceded by an hour-long battle between government troops and members of the Tubu . Around twelve soldiers were killed in the fighting and five officers, including a general, were arrested.

See also

Web links

Commons : Murzuk  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. World Gazetteer ( Memento of the original from December 29, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. a b Libyan rebels conquer the Sahara city of Morsuk. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . August 18, 2011, accessed August 18, 2011 .