Houn or Hun is an oasis town in the northern Fezzan region of southwest Libya. The town is the capital of the Jufra District. It was mentioned in the book of historian Jack Terry, ‘Libyan Desert History in the Middle Ages’, as Abu Ubayd al-Bakri mentioned in his writing ‘Al-Masalik and Al-Mamalik’ that he wrote in the eleventh century AD, “(Hul) is a city with many residents and with vast areas of palm trees and many springs of water...”.
It is lying around 259 meters above sea level. It is 240 km south of Sirte, 370 km from Misrata, 272 km north of Sabha and around 620 km southeast of Tripoli, the capital of Libya. It is geographically positioned between 29°07′16″ N latitude and 15°56′25″ E longitude.
Houn is well known for the ‘International Autumn Tourism Festival’, which generally takes place in the month of September annually.
There is an airport in Houn but that is mainly used military purposes. Ghardabiya Air Base in Sirte is the nearest major airport to Houn, located around 270 km northeast of the heart of Houn. This airport is catered by Air Libya Tibesti, Libyan Airlines and Tunisair with scheduled flight services from Tripoli.
Houn is connected to the cities of Sirte towards the north and Sabha towards the south by public bus services.
During the colonial Italian Libya period, Hun was the administrative capital of the Italian Fezzan region, called Territorio del Sahara Libico. Hun was the Italian military center of southern Italian Libya, and was not part of the national Fourth Shore territory of the Kingdom of Italy as Italian Tripolitania and Italian Cyrenaica. In the 1939 census Italians were 3% of the total population of 35,316 in the city. They disappeared from Hun after Italy's loss of Libya in World War II.
In the 1930s the Italian government made some important improvements to the small town, including a connection to the coast via the new Fezzan Road.
An important Libyan-Italian born in Hun was the internationally renowned painter Mario Schifano (1934–1998).
Old town of Houn
Like Libyan cities, Houn was built several times by many European and Arab empires. Those areas are still good in condition and have become famous as picnic spots and sightseeing points.
Culture, Food and Shopping in Houn
Houn is culturally rich city with an annual event ‘International Autumn Tourism Festival’, which organized at the end of September, for four days every year from 1996. It is aimed at promoting tourism and culture and organizes concerts and exhibitions.
International retail outlets and food corners are less in number in Houn, but the city houses numerous upgraded shops and restaurants.