With the expansion of the Ottoman Empire on the Libyan territory in the 16th century, the new rulers gave great interest and priority to mosque construction.
The Darghut Mosque in Tripoli is another example of the Ottoman style mosques that represent an important feature of the city's cultural identity.
The Mosque, which still stands proudly in the heart of the Old City of Tripoli the (Medina), was built around 1560, by the Ottoman governor, Draghut Reis; one of the greatest figures in Turkish naval history who recaptured the city of Tripoli in 1551, from the Knights of Saint John, commonly known as the Knights Hospitaller.
Commander Draghut was then appointed as governor of Tripoli by the Ottoman administration, which was the Islamic Caliphate at the time, and it was an Ottoman custom for the rulers to build their own mosque after gaining victory in a holy war.
His reign was marked by important achievements, notably, in architecture and construction, and among them was his mosque, which he built in the area near "Bab al-Bahr" in central Tripoli.
The mosque was built in a T-shape design, exhibiting an architectural appearance similar to the mosques found in Anatolia. It features a prayer hall divided into three sections with a total area of 438 meters, besides minarets, domes, and arches as classic Muslim worship houses.
The main prayer hall centers a rectangle courtyard containing five corridors with twelve columns holding up twenty round-shaped domes.
The domes are decorated with calligraphy, etched with verses from the Quran and adorned with plants and flowers, in addition to a small dome topping the minbar (pulpit).
The other two prayer halls consist of three corridors skyed by 12 domes resting on Roman-style columns.
Like classic Ottoman-built mosques, the building contains other facilities, such as the mausoleums of its founder, Draghut Reis who martyred in a battle against the Hospitallers in the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, in addition to a fountain and a minaret which was remodeled by Iskander Pasha in 1602.
The current construction of the mosque contains some differences from the original building, as it was damaged during World War II, and had to undergo some reconstruction works.