Nalut Palace is a fortified granary, located in the center of the old town of Nalut district, Western Libya.
It has been abandoned but it is still a tourist destination. It was a communal building where the local families could store their grain in times of conflict. It is rectangular in shape and differs from the building of a fort by its small openings, which are distributed on the outer wall, to provide the rooms with light and ventilation, however the writers who mentioned the palace before did not give many details about it, Mondadori, for example said that “the palace looks like a castle and consists of 300 rooms, no ladder inside it, but rather small pieces of wood embedded in the walls, each room is one meter wide and high, contains barley, wheat and oil and suffices one family for a whole year. There is a man guarding the palace, but no one thinks about stealing his neighbor”. He also expected that the palace was built in the Byzantine era.
Despite the lack of space, markets were held in the courtyard of this palace.
The storage palace in Nalut is still in good condition, and its only entrance is on the northeastern side. Its width is about 1.10 m, and its height is approximately 2.10 m, it is of a semi-rectangular shape, measuring about 3.43 m in length, and surrounded by a stone barrage attached to the wall.
In the center of this palace there is another building, the walls of which rise to a higher level than the walls of the palace. This building is surrounded by a corridor about 1.70 m wide. This building, like the rest of the palace, is made up of storage rooms, which represent five floors on one side of the palace, and on the other side it consists of six floors.
Inside the palace
What is striking is the absence of the stairs that lead to the upper floors of the palace. It was replaced by small pieces of tree trunks in the walls, and these pieces were, and still are, the means of climbing into the rooms. The only way to get the needs or to place them in the rooms depends on one climbing these wood pieces to the desired room, where the climber places a piece of rectangular wood over the two trunk pieces fixed at the bottom of the entrance to the room, then uses the rope to raise or lower what he wants.
The storage rooms are characterized by their rectangular shape. Most of them are approximately 1.75 m in width and 1.65 m in height. Inside most of the rooms there are large jars used to store olive oil. And as some of these large jars are located in rooms with an entrance width of 85 cm and a height of 1.10 m, it is likely that they were placed in these rooms before the entrance is leveled. This is if the openings in the rooms have not been narrowed. All the rooms were covered with barrel vaults, and their doors were all made of tree trunks. While the polished wooden doors are very recent.
Almost all the rooms have a small opening in the wall opposite the entrance opening. It used is to provide ventilation and light to the room. It is what makes the viewer from outside the palace, thinks that it was used for surveillance as if the palace was a fortress.
Local materials consisting of mud, gypsum and tree trunks were used in the construction of the palace. This palace does not differ in its basic architectural elements from the rest of the storage palaces on Nafusa Mountain. It is appropriate for us to clarify that the historical sources in our hands do not assist us in determining a specific date for the construction of this palace. In the absence of historical and archaeological evidence, the proposed dates remain valid in all eventualities. It seems that the Nalut region gained some importance in the Roman era due to its geographical location. But this does not necessarily lead us to accept the Mondadori theory, saying that the history of this palace is dated back to the Roman or Byzantine era, because his opinion is not based on historical or archaeological evidence. But it is certain that this storage palace existed before the Ottoman period. Going further depends on evidence that is not available at the present time.