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Citadel of Sidon Today
 
 
Citadel of Sidon - As It Appeared on Year 1810. It was built by the Crusadors in the early 13th century.  
 
Painting Of The Citadel of Sidon  
 
 
 

 Zahlee (Zahle)

 Zgharta

 

Baalbeck, Roman City of The Sun

The Monuments of Baalbeck

Baalbeck, Lebanon's greatest Roman treasure, can be counted among the wonders of the ancient world. The largest and most noble Roman temples ever built, they are also among the best preserved.
    Towering high above the Beqaa plain, their monumental proportions proclaimed the power and wealth of Imperial Rome. 

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                   Lebanese Famous Cities

Anjar City Profile

Altitude: 930m
Distance from Beirut: 58km

Getting There

From Beirut, take the Damascus Road. Upon reaching the Bekaa Valley, there is a sign-post to the left 10 km after Chtaura. The ruins can be seen from the main road.

Monuments of Anjar

Anjar Ruins

At other historical sites in the country, different epochs and civilizations are superimposed one on top of the other. Aanjar is exclusively one period, the Umayyad.

Lebanon's other sites were founded millennia ago, but Aanjar is a relative new-comer, going back to the early 8th century A.D. Unlike Tyre and Byblos, which claim continuous habitation since the day they were founded, Aanjar flourished for only a few decades.

Other than a small Umayyad mosque in Baalbeck, we have few other remnants from this important period of Arab History. 

Aanjar also stands unique as the only historic example of an inland commercial center. The city benefited from its strategic position on intersecting trade routes leading to Damascus, Homs, Baalbeck and the south. This almost perfect quadrilateral of ruins lies in the midst of the richest agricultural land in Lebanon. It is only a short distance from gushing springs and one of the important sources of the Litani River. Today's name, Aanjar, comes from the Arabic Ain Gerrha, "the source of Gerrha", the name of an ancient city founded in this area during Hellenistic times. Aanjar has a special beauty. The city's slender columns and fragile arches stand in contrast  to the massive bulk of the nearby Anti-Lebanon mountains--an eerie background for Aanjar extensive ruins and the memories of its short but energetic moment in history.

History, Aanjar's Masters, The Umayyads

The Umayyads, the first hereditary dynasty of Islam, ruled from Damascus in the first century after the Prophet Mohammed, from 660 to 750 A.D.

They are credited with the great Arab conquests that created an Islamic empire stretching from the Indus Valley to southern France.

Monuments of Anjar  

Skilled in administration and planning, their empire prospered for a 100 years. Defeat befell them when the Abbasids--their rivals and their successors--took advantage of the Umayyad's increasing decadence.

Some chronicles and literary documents inform us that it was Walid I, son of Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, who built the city--probably between 705 and 715 A.D.

Walid's son Ibrahim lost Aanjar when he was defeated by his cousin Marwan II in a battle two kilometers form the city.

 

Excavating Aanjar

Just after Lebanon gained independence in 1943, the country's General Directorate of Antiquities began to investigate a strip of land in the Beqaa valley sandwiched between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains some 58 kilometers east of Beirut. This was Aanjar, then a stretch of blend bareness with parched shrubbery and stagnant swamps that covered the vast area of these archaeological remains.

The site at first seemed painfully modest, especially when compared with the rest of Lebanon's archaeological wonders. What attracted the antiquities experts to Aanjar was not such the ruins themselves as the information they held. Beneath the impersonal grayness of Aanjar, the experts suggested, lay the vestiges of the eighth century Umayyad dynasty that ruled from Damascus and held sway over an empire.

That idea was particularly interesting because Lebanon--that unique crossroads of the ages--boasted ample archaeological evidence of almost all stages of Arab history with the exception of the Umayyad.

Early in the excavation engineers drained the swamps. Stands of evergreen cypresses and eucalyptus trees were planted and flourish today, giving these stately ruins a park-like setting. To date, almost the entire site has been excavated and some monuments have been restored.

Among the chief structures are the Palace I and the Mosque in the south-east quarter, the residential area in the southwest, the Palace II in the northwest and the Palace III and public bath in the northeast.

Aanjar Today

Aanjar is open daily. Close to the ruins of Aanjar are a number of restaurants which offer fresh trout plus a full array of Lebanese and Anjar Armenian dishes. Some of the restaurants are literally built over the trout ponds. Aanjar has no hotels but lodging can be found in Chtaura 15 kilometers away.

                              

 

Information From the Ministry of Tourism

Lebanese Ministry of Tourism

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