Ghadames is a Libyan oasis town. It is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and an outstanding example of a traditional settlement. The old part of the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its architecture, which has been built in such a way as to ingeniously provide protection against the heat. Residents were moved out of the old town in the late 1980s, but still return during the heat of summer because the houses offer relief from the heat. The domestic architecture is characterized by a vertical division of functions: the ground floor used to store supplies; then another floor for the family, overhanging covered alleys that create what is almost an underground network of passageways; and, at the top, open-air terraces reserved for the women.
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