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Roman

Temples

Békaa Valley

ïjQÉàdG ôÑY QGƒ°ûe

á«fÉehQ óHÉ©e
´É≤ÑdG π¡°S »a

Archaeological Promenade

of the

Roman

Temples

Békaa Valley

of the

´É≤ÑdG π¡°S »a á«fÉehQ óHÉ©e
Tripoli
Enfeh
Ras el-Shekka
Batroun

Zghorta

Balamand

Kousba
Tourza The
Ehden
Qadisha
Becharre
Valley
The Cedars
Musailha
Hadet Hasroun

Labweh

Nabha
Deir el Ahmar
Yammoune

Ras Baalbeck

Qasr el-Banat
Jbeil

Jounieh

BEIRUT

Dora

Hadath

Baalbeck

Qsarnaba
Temnine
Hosn Niha
Niha
Bikfaya Khonchara
Fourzol
Dhour Shoueir
Broumana

Beit Mery

Sarain

Nebi Ham

Rayak

Zahle

Hamana Shtaura
Sofar
Tanail
Aley
Dahr el-Baidar
Bhamdoun

Baabda

Nahle

Iaat

Kfar Zabad
Ain el-Bayda
Anjar

Roman Temples
presented in this
brochure

Majdel Anjar
Dakwe
Qasr el-Wadi
Mdoukha
Helwa
Bakka
Yanta
Qalaat
Khirbet el-Knisse
el-Amoud
Qaraoun
Deir el
Lake
Aachayer
Houash
Kfarqouq
Hfoufa
Nebi Safa
Aiha
Libbaya Aqbeh

Deir el-Qamar
Beiteddine
Meshref
Moukhtara

Sidon

Eshmoun
Temple

Jezzine

Ain Harsha

Marjayoun
Hebbariye

Beaufort
Castle
Tyre
(Sour)

Roads
Other Towns / Sites
Qana

Roman Temples presented
in this brochure
Roman Temple Sites in the Békaa

2km

10km

20km

´É≤ÑdG π¡°S »a á«fÉehQ óHÉ©e

Roman

Temples

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Békaa Valley
of the

The fertile Békaa Valley stretches between the Mount
Lebanon chain to the west and the Anti-Lebanon mountains
to the east. Throughout history, the valley has been a major
crossroad between northern Syria and Palestine, and between
the Mediterranean coast and the interior. This favorable
geographic situation has encouraged human settlement in
the valley since ancient times. Today, the cities and villages
of the Békaa still preserve the remains of the people who
lived there centuries ago. Roman temples, Islamic structures,
and archaeological sites dating from many different historical
periods transform the valley into a virtual “open-air museum.”

Tripoli
Enfeh
Ras el-Shekka
Batroun

Zghorta

Balamand

Kousba
Tourza The
Ehden
Qadisha
Becharre
Valley
The Cedars
Musailha
Hadet Hasroun

Labweh

Nabha
Deir el Ahmar
Yammoune

Ras Baalbeck

Qasr el-Banat
Jbeil

BEIRUT

Hadath

Dora

Dhour Shoueir
Broumana

Beit Mery

Baabda

Aley

Sarain

Sofar
Tanail
Dahr el-Baidar
Bhamdoun

Nebi Ham

Rayak

Zahle

Hamana Shtaura

Nahle

Iaat

Baalbeck

Qsarnaba
Jounieh
Temnine
Hosn Niha
Niha
Bikfaya Khonchara
Fourzol

Kfar Zabad
Ain el-Bayda
Anjar

Roman Temples
presented in this
brochure

Majdel Anjar
Dakwe
Qasr el-Wadi
Mdoukha
Helwa
Yanta
Qalaat Bakka
Khirbet el-Knisse
el-Amoud
Qaraoun
Deir el
Lake
Aachayer
Houash
Kfarqouq
Hfoufa

Deir el-Qamar
Beiteddine
Meshref
Moukhtara

Sidon

Eshmoun
Temple

Jezzine

Nebi Safa
Aiha
Libbaya Aqbeh

Ain Harsha

Marjayoun
Hebbariye

Beaufort
Castle
Tyre
(Sour)

Roads

Other Towns / Sites
Qana

Roman Temples presented
in this brochure
Roman Temple Sites in the Békaa

2km

10km

20km

History of the Békaa Valley

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History of the Békaa Valley
Greek and Roman travelers frequently crossed the Békaa
Valley and knew it very well. However, they believed that the
valley ran from east to west, instead of north to south, as it
really is situated. As a result, the Greeks and Romans believed
that both Lebanese mountain chains ran perpendicular to the
Mediterranean coastline. This belief continued until the days of
the Arab geographer Al-Idrissi, during the 12th century.
The belief that the Békaa Valley ran from east to west had
significant political repercussions. After his victory in 31 B.C.
over Marc Anthony and Cleopatra, the Roman general Octavius,
who became the Emperor Augustus and the founder of the
Roman Empire, founded the colony of Beirut. He annexed to
this colony all the lands of the Békaa Valley “until the sources
of the Orontes River.” This action would not have been possible
if the Roman administration was not sure that the Békaa Valley
was situated perpendicular to the coastline, thus forming the
inland space of the new colony.

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It would be impossible to describe all the Roman temples
of the Békaa Valley. This brochure will focus on five of the
most significant sites: Fourzol, Niha, Hosn Niha, Temnine ElFaouqa, and Qsarnaba. Please consult the separate brochure,
Archaeological Promenade – Baalbeck, for extensive information
on the Baalbeck temples.

The
Oro

Tripoli

Theouprosopone
The Mediterranean Sea

As a result, the villages and towns of the Békaa began to build
Roman-style temples dedicated to their own local gods. This
explains the great number of temples spread throughout the
valley.

ntes
R

iver

Baalbeck was the largest construction project Emperor Augustus
and his successors ever attempted in the region. Baalbeck
became an important cultic and pilgrimage site, in addition to
an essential meeting point for all the caravans crossing the
Békaa Valley from the interior to the south (Palestine) or to the
Mediterranean coast. Consequently, Baalbeck and the Békaa
Valley were transformed into a center for the dissemination of
Roman civilization and the demonstration of Roman power to
the inhabitants of the region.

ïjQÉàdG »a ´É≤ÑdG

Mount Lebanon
Byblos

Arab Mountains

Baalbeck
Jordan River
Dog River

Beirut
Sidon

Anti Lebanon Mountain

Bu
rda

Riv

Arab Mountains

er
Damascus

Fourzol

∫RôØdG

Fourzol
The town of Fourzol is situated 6km northeast of Zahlé in the
eastern foothills of the Mount Lebanon chain. Fourzol was a
famous Episcopal see during the 5th century A.D., and today
the Orthodox bishops of Zahlé are called the “Metropolitan of
Fourzol.”
Roman Temple of Apollo

In the center of Fourzol are the remains of a Roman temple built
according to the Corinthian style. This temple was apparently
dedicated to the god Apollo. It had a monumental stairway
leading to a portico with two antae (walls), followed by a cella,
or central space, and then an adytum, or Holy of Holies, where
the statue of the god was located. Due to the current bad state
of the ruins, it is very difficult to recognize the original shape
of the temple and the exact location of the altar that would
typically have been built in front of the temple.

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Fourzol - Roman Temple of Apollo
Private Houses

1km towards
the caves

Portico

Cella

Adytum

Caves

One and a half kilometers from Fourzol, in the area known as
Wadi el-Habis (“the valley of the hermit”) or Moghr el-Habis (“the
caves of the Hermit”), a high cliff surrounding the valley holds
a number of caves. These caves were inhabited by a number of
hermits during the early-Christian and Byzantine periods. The
tradition of inhabited caves in the Lebanese mountains dates
back to the fourth millennium B.C. and continued until the
medieval period. All of these caves were also used at some
point for cultic and funerary practices.
Several of the caves have small vats in the center, which were
used to collect water. On the left side of the cliff, you can see
a niche holding a stele, or a large stone slab, symbolizing a
shapeless idol carved according to the local traditions. On the
lower level of the right side of the cliff, a platform was carved
in the rock, leading up four steps into a carved room. Only one
of the caves is accessible to visitors; the rest must be viewed
from below.

Private Houses

Towards
Beirut

10m

50m

100m

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Fourzol

∫RôØdG

Carved Palm Tree
About 20 minutes walk along the dirt road from the caves of
Wadi el-Habis you will reach a carved rock face depicting a palm
tree. To the left of the tree is an image of a young “knight god,”
with a halo around his head, holding the reins of his horse with
his right hand and a sphere or disc with his left hand. To the
right of the palm tree is an image of a naked person (possibly a
genie), holding a palm leaf in his right hand and a small sheep
with a sheaf of corn in his left hand. This image represents
a solar god overlooking the regeneration and fertility of the
universe, including its fauna and flora. These images were
probably carved during the Roman era.
Several Roman-era quarries can also be seen in the surrounding
landscape. The quarries look like large rocks with flattened
faces, and some are shaped like a large stairway, as a result of
the stones being cut from them.

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.Qƒî°üdG »a

Niha

Éë«f

Niha
The small village of Niha is located 17km north of Chtaura, to
the left of the road that runs from the city of Zahlé, through the
town of Ablah, to Baalbeck.
Niha is home to two of the most beautiful Roman temples in
the Békaa Valley. The temples were built perpendicular to each
other, with their entrances facing a central place that could have
held an important structure (which is now completely gone).
The Niha temples were built according to the classical Roman
architectural tradition, which is evident in the temples spread
throughout Lebanon.

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» ngÉéJG ¿CG ôcòdÉH ôjóédG øeh .∞dÉ°ùdG ¬≤fhQ øY Iôµa »£©J »àdG á«q FÉæÑdG √ô°UÉæY
™Ñàjh .É¡ªdÉ©e âdGR áªq ¡e á«æHo √ÉéJÉH ɪ«bCG ɪ¡fCÉch ,øjóeÉ©àe ɪgô p¡¶oj øjóÑ©ªdG
Oƒ¡©ªdG ≥°ùædG ɪ¡«°Sóbh ɪ¡«æë°Uh ɪ¡LQGOCGh ɪ¡«àcq On å«M øe øjóÑ©ªdG §«£îJ
.¿ÉæÑd »a á«q fÉehôdG óHÉ©ªdG ™«ªL ¬H RÉàªJ …òdG

1– The Small Temple

Adytum

10m

50m

Towards
Hosn
Niha

100m
Cella

1

Portico

Niha River

The Small Temple was the first temple to be built on this site
during the first century A.D. Situated on the left side of the Niha
River, this temple was dedicated to the Syro-Phoenician god
Hadaranes and the goddess Atargatis. Hadaranes is the local
name of Hadad, the god of thunder, lightning, and rain. Atargatis
is the cosmic goddess of fertility.

Niha Complex

Adytum
Cella
Portico

Niha River

It is believed that the rituals in this temple were related to water,
because a small water channel runs through the podium of the
temple. Water used to seep out from the rocks surrounding the
temple, then ran directly into the channel and into the interior of
the temple, for use in purification ceremonies.

2

Towards
Beirut

3

The Site
Beginning of the visit Path

1

Parking

2

Visit path

3

The Small Temple
The Great Temple
Prophet Elias Church

ô«¨°üdG óÑ©ªdG -1
óÑ©ªdG AÉæH √DhÉæH ≥Ñ°S óbh .∫hq C’G q…OÓ«ªdG ¿ô≤dG ≈dEG ô«¨°üdG óÑ©ªdG AÉæH ïjQÉJ Oƒ©j
¿CG πÑb ,Éë«f »a ó«MƒdG »æjódG AÉæÑdG äÉbhC’G øe âbh »a πµq °T ¬fq CG å«ëH ,ô«ÑµdG
n jo
.Ω.Ü ådÉãdGh »fÉãdG ø«fô≤dG ¿ƒ°†Z »a ô«ÑµdG óÑ©ªdG AÉæÑH ô°TÉÑ
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IOÉÑ©d Ék °Sôq µe ¿Éc ¬fq CG hóÑj ,√QGƒL »ah ¬«a É¡«∏Y ôãYo »àdG áeƒbôªdG äÉHÉàµdG ¢†©H
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n »≤«æ«ØdG-…Qƒ°ùdG ¬dE’G
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ô°üæY ∫ƒM QƒëªàJ âfÉc ¬«a …ôéJ âfÉc »àdG IOÉÑ©dG ¢Sƒ≤W ¿CG hóÑjh .á«q fƒµdG
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.É¡H ∑ôq ÑàdG øe êÉéëdGh
q

Niha

Éë«f

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q .ø«àeÉYOh πµ°ûdG á«q fƒjEG ¿Éé«J äGP
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q øë°üdG øeh .ôgÉX É¡ªdÉ©e ¢†©H ∫GR
øe óq H ’h .OƒÑ©ªdG ∫ÉãªJ IóYÉb ™ØJôJ âfÉc ácq nódG ¥ƒah .äÉLQO ™°ùJ øe ∞dq Dƒe êQO
√É«ªdG ¿ÉjôéH íª°ùJ ,ácq óq dG πØ°SCG óæY ÉgôØM ºJq Iô«¨°U IÉæb OƒLh ≈dEG IQÉ°TE’G
.óÑ©ªdG øë°U ≈qàM OƒÑ©ªdG ∫ÉãªJ IóYÉb øe á°Sqó≤ªdG

The entrance of the temple faces south; it consists of a
stairway leading to a portico with four columns with Ionic-style
capitals. The cella, or inner space of the temple, is accessed
through three doors at the top of the stairway, and the adytum
is accessed by a stairway of nine steps at the end of the cella.
The statue of the god or goddess was located inside the adytum
and was usually not accessible to the public. In addition to the
water channel running through and around the podium, there
is also a smaller water channel that runs from the base of the
statue of the god or goddess in the adytum down to the center
of the cella.

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q hóÑj Ée ≈∏Y ô«¨°üdG Éë«f óÑ©e ¿Éc
™bGƒdG ôî°üdG øe êôîJ âfÉc »àdG á°Sqó≤ªdG óÑ©ªdG √É«ªH ∑ôq Ñàjh É¡«a ∑QÉ°ûjo ¿CG
Ék °ü°üîe
q ¿Éc ,√ó©H º«bCG …òdG ô«ÑµdG óÑ©ªdG ¿CG ø«M »a .¬æe á«q bô°ûdG á¡édG ≈dEG
ɪc ,»fÉãdG …OÓªdG ¿ô≤dG ¿ƒ°†Z »a äô°ûàfG »àdG ájq QÉ°ùªo dG äGOÉÑ©∏d hóÑj Ée ≈∏Y
.∂Ñ∏©H »a ¢SƒNÉH óÑ©e º°SÉH ±hô©ªdG óÑ©ªdG ∫ÉM »g

In the remains of this temple, archaeologists discovered a stone
with an inscription mentioning a “virgin prophetess” named
Hochmea. Hochmea was the priestess of the god Hadaranes
and the goddess Atargatis; she dedicated herself to those two
gods and cut herself off from the world. The stone inscription
says: “According to an order from the god, she stopped eating
bread for 20 years” and “lived for 100 years.” This stone was
removed by archaeologists and is no longer located at the
10m
50m
temple site.

Niha Complex

zAGQòYá«q Ñf{ôcP ≈∏Y »JCÉJáHÉàc,óÑ©ªdGGòg»aÉ¡«∏YôãY»àdGá
eq É¡dGäÉHÉàµdGø«Høeh
o
,z¢ù«JÉZôJCG{ ág’E’Gh z¢ù«fGQóM{ ¬dE’G áægÉc âfÉc ,(Hochmaea) z᪵M{
o É¡ª°SG
øY â©æàeG ,¬dE’G ôeCG ≈∏Y AÉæHh{ . ºdÉ©dG øY â©£≤fGh ɪ¡àeóîd É¡°ùØf äQòf óbh
.áHÉàµdG ôcòJ Ée óq M ≈∏Y ,záæ°S áÄe{ â°TÉYh ,záæ°S øjô°ûY Iqóe õÑîdG ∫hÉæJ
Adytum

Towards
Hosn
Niha

100m
Cella

The Small Temple of Niha was apparently used for the public
cult, which allowed everyone to participate in purification rituals
using the holy water running through temple. The nearby Great
Temple (2) was apparently used for a mysterious cult that
spread during the 2nd century A.D., similar to the cult practiced
at the Bacchus Temple in Baalbeck.

1

Portico

Niha River

Adytum
Cella

Portico

2

Niha River

Towards
Beirut

3

The Site
Beginning of the visit Path

1

Parking

2

Visit path

3

The Small Temple
The Great Temple
Prophet Elias Church

Niha

Éë«f

2– The Great Temple
Built on the right side of the Niha River during the 2nd and 3rd
centuries A.D., the Great Temple was also dedicated to the god
Hadaranes and the goddess Atargatis. In addition to these two
gods, the temple was apparently also dedicated to a young god
who played the role of their son. Like the small temple, the
Great Temple was used for rituals related to the water that used
to seep out of the surrounding rocks.

Niha Complex

ô«ÑµdG óÑ©ªdG -2

ø«fô≤dG ¿ƒ°†Z »a Éë«f ô¡f iôée øe ≈檫o dG á¡édG ≈dEG ô«ÑµdG óÑ©ªdG »æHo
¢ù«JÉZQÉJCGh ¢ù«fGQóM IOÉÑ©d Ék °Sôq µe ¿Éc ¬fq CG hóÑjh .ådÉãdGh »fÉãdG ø«jq OÓ«ªdG
≈dEG áaÉ°VE’ÉH ,º°V
q óÑ©ªdG ¿CG hóÑj ¬fCG ô«Z .ɪ¡JOÉÑ©d ô«¨°üdG óÑ©ªdG ¢Sôq co øjò∏dG
,ô«¨°üdG óÑ©ªdG »a ɪch10m.øHE’G ¬dE50m
’G QhO Ö©∏j Ék100m
HÉ°T Ék ¡dEG ,ø«ª«¶©dG ø«¡dE’G øjòg
π«°ùJ »àdG √É«ªdG âfÉch ,á«q fƒµdG áHƒ°üîdGh AɪdG ô°üæ©H §ÑJôJ IOÉÑ©dG ¢Sƒ≤W âfÉc
§∏àîJh ô¡ædG ≈dEG π°üJ ¿CG πÑb »HƒæédG óÑ©ªdG QGóL AGREÉH ÜÉ°ùæJ πÑédG íØ°S øe
.¬gÉ«ªH
Niha River

Adytum
Cella

Portico

2

Niha River

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l á«q HƒæédG á¡édG øe êQódG ø°†ëJ »àdG á°üæªdG
Gk RÉÑæZ …óJôj Ék ægÉc πãq ªj ôaÉf ¢û≤f
q
k
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iô°ù«dG √ój »a πªëjh ,ô«¨°U ∫Óg Égƒ∏©j IOÉÑq d øgɵdG ôªà©jh .ák g’EGh Ék g’EG
q pe
.ô«¨°U íHòe ≈∏Y á°Sqó≤ªdG AɪdG É¡æe Öµ°ùj á°SÉW ≈檫o dG √ój »ah á«q JÉÑf á°Tô
l
óbh ,óMGh ºî°V ôéM øe ≈°†e Ée »a ∞dq CÉàj ¿Éc ∞cÉ°S
ábÓª©dG óÑ©ªdG áHGƒq H ƒ∏©j
∞cÉ°S øjq õj …òdG ÜÉ≤©dG QGôZ ≈∏Y ,ø«MÉæédG •ƒ°ùÑe Ék HÉ≤Y πãq ªj ¢û≤æH ¬∏Ø°SCG øjq Ro
¬jój ióMEÉH ∂°ùªjo Éë«f ÜÉ≤Y ¿CG ô«Z .∂Ñ∏©H »a z¢SƒNÉH{ ≈dEG ܃°ùæªdG óÑ©ªdGThe Site
of the visit Path
ø«ªj ≈dEGh .π«îf áØ©°ùH iôNC’ÉH ∂°ùªjo ɪ«a ,»JÉÑf π«∏cEÉTheH Small Temple
ňa
¢û≤f ∞cÉ°ùdG
k πãq ªj Beginning
Great Temple
∂°ùªJ áëParking
æq ée ô°üf áo Hq Q ¬ÑfÉL ≈dEGh iô°ù«o dG √ó«H π«îf ø°üZ πªëj Ék ëæq ée Ék jQÉYThe
Prophet Elias Church
Visit path
¬©aôJ π«∏cEÉH ≈檫o dG Égó«H ∂°ùªoJ ɪ«a ,iô°ù«o dG Égó«H π«îf ø°ü¨H iôNC’G »g
iôNCG áëæq ée ô°üf
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IÉ«M ƃ∏ÑH πeC’G ™e 䃪dGh ∫ƒHòdGh ƒq ªædGh IO’ƒdG ádCÉ°ùªH ø«æeDƒªdG ¿ÉgPCG »a Ék ≤«Kh
.»µÑ∏©ÑdG z¢SƒNÉH{ ≈dEG ܃°ùæªdG óÑ©ªdG »a …ôéj ¿Éc Ée QGô pZ ≈∏Y ,iôNCG
1

The entrance of the temple faces the east; it is built over a large
podium and accessed through a three-part stairway leading to
a portico with four columns with Corinthian-style capitals. To the
left side of the stairway, a carved relief depicts a priest with two
icons on his chest, representing a god and a goddess. He is
wearing a hat with a crescent carved on it, and he holds a floral
water sprinkler in his left hand and a cup in his right hand, which
pours holy water onto a small altar.
The lintel of the gigantic temple door has an eagle with spread
wings carved on it. This eagle is similar to the one carved on
the lintel of the Bacchus Temple in Baalbeck. However, the
Niha carving is slightly different, because the eagle holds a
floral crown in one of its talons and a palm leaf in the other. To
the right side of the lintel, a carved relief represents a winged
naked boy holding a palm leaf in his left hand. Next to the boy
is a carving of a winged goddess of victory holding a palm leaf
in her left hand and a crown in her right hand, raising the crown

2

3

Niha

Éë«f

πNGO ∞dq CÉàj ,ø«àeÉYódGh IóªYCG á©HQC’G …P »LQÉîdG ¥GhôdGh …ôFɪ©dG êQódG ó©H
Éeq CG ,¿ƒæeDƒªdG ™ªàéj å«M øë°üdG ƒgh ,∫hq C’G :ø«æKG ø«ª°ùb øe ô«ÑµdG óÑ©ªdG
,øë°üdG á«q °VQCG ƒ∏©j ¿Éµa ,¬«dEG ∫ƒNódG Rƒéj ’ …òdG ¢SGóbC’G ¢Sób ƒgh ,»fÉãdG
≈∏Y Ωƒ≤j ¢SGóbC’G ¢Sób ¿Éch .OƒÑ©ªdG ∫ÉãªJ …ƒàëj ¿Éch ,êQóH ¬«dEG Oƒ©°üdG ºàjh
q
äGhOC’Gh »fGhC’G ßØëd ¢ü°üîe
¬Ñ°ûj Ée
q õ«∏gO É¡àëJ º«bCG óbh ,á«dÉ©dG á°üæªdG
q
l ÜGOô°ùdG ≈dEG …qODƒªdG ÜÉÑdG ÖfÉL øjq õjh .á«q °ù≤£dG
AɪdG Öµ°ùj Ék ægÉc πãq ªj ¢û≤f
Ék Ä«°T áYƒaôªdG ≈檫dG Égó«H πªëJ ICGôeG πãq ªj ¢û≤f ¬ÑfÉL ≈dEGh ,íHòe ≈∏Y ¢Sqó≤ªdG
k hCG Ék °ûÑc »£àªj íæq ée πØW IQƒ°U ¢û≤ædG QÉ°ùj ≈dEGh ,ºdÉ©ªdG í°VGh ô«Z
.ÓéY

towards the head of the boy. The left side of the lintel has a
carved relief representing the same goddess of victory with the
same items in her hands. The carvings appear to be linked to
the mysterious rituals that were performed inside the temple.
These rituals were related to the issues of birth, growth, death,
and the hope of an afterlife.
The inside of the temple consists of two parts: the cella, where
the people used to gather, and the elevated adytum, which was
accessed by a stairway. The adytum used to hold the statue
of the god or goddess. Under the elevated adytum is a crypt,
which held the items used during the ceremonies and rituals of
the temple. The doorway leading to the crypt is decorated with
a carved relief representing a priest pouring holy water over an
altar. Next to him, a woman holds an undefined object in her
right hand. To the left, the relief represents a winged boy riding
over a sheep or a bull.

k
ôeC’G,Üô¨H Ék bô°Tô«ÑµdGóÑ©ªdG¬éàj ɪ«a ܃æéH ’ɪ°T¬éàjô«¨°üdGÉë«f
óÑ©e¿Éc
¿Éc …ôFɪY íHòe OƒLh ∂dP »a ÖÑ°ùdG ¿ƒµj óbh .øjóeÉ©àe ɪ¡«gÉéJG π©éj …òdG
ô«ÑµdG óÑ©ªdG ¬«Lƒàd ≥∏£æªc ¬eGóîà°SG ºJq óbh ,ô«¨°üdG óÑ©ªdG á¡LGƒe »a Ωƒ≤j
äÉæ«©Ñ°Sh äÉæ«qà°S »a â∏°üM »àdG á«q Lƒdƒ«NQC’G äÉÑ«≤æàdG äôØ°SCG óbh .¬FÉ°ûfEG óæY
íHòe ¬£°Sƒàj
q Ék «FGóH ≈k ∏q °üeo OƒLh øY øjóÑ©ªdG …Qƒëe ™WÉ≤J óæY »°VɪdG ¿ô≤dG
≈dEG âªj ’ »q ∏q ëe ܃∏°SCÉH áJƒëæªdG ÜÉ°üfC’G øe ô«Ñc Ol óY ¬H §«ëjh ,Éë«f áHq Q πãq ªj
¬«LƒàH ºµq ëJ …òdG ƒg ºjó≤dG …ó«∏≤àdG ≈∏q °üªo dG Gòg ¿CG hóÑjh .á∏°üH »fÉehôdG øØdG
â¡Lq ho ɪ«a ܃æédG √ÉéJÉH ô«¨°üdG óÑ©ªdG á¡LGh â¡Lq ho å«ëH ,¬gÉéJÉH øjóÑ©ªdG
.¥ô°ûdG √ÉéJÉH ô«ÑµdG óÑ©ªdG á¡LGh

The Small Temple of Niha (1) is oriented north-south, while the
Great Temple (2) is oriented east-west. During the excavations of
the site, an oratory was discovered in front of the Small Temple.
The oratory had an altar representing the goddess of Niha,
surrounded by a number of steles sculpted in the local style
(not Roman style). The reason for the perpendicular orientation
of the two temples is the presence of this oratory, which was
situated in front of the Small Temple, and which was used as a
10m
100m
base for the orientation
of the50m
Great Temple.

Niha Complex

Adytum

Towards
Hosn
Niha

Cella

3– The Church of the Prophet Elias

1

Portico

Cella

Niha River

Adytum

:É«dG »ÑædG á°ù«æc -3

Niha River

The Church of the Prophet
Elias, probably built in the
19th century, is located
a few meters south of
the oratory. Traditionally,
whenever a church was
constructed on the site of
Portico
2
a temple dedicated to the
local goddess of thunder,
lightning, and rain, that
church would be dedicated
to the Prophet Elias or to
Saint George (both known
as “el-Khodr” in the Islamic
tradition).

3

The Site
Beginning of the visit Path

1

Parking

2

The Small Temple
The Great Temple

™bƒe øe ܃æédG ≈dEG QÉàeCG ó©Ho ≈∏Y
º°SG ≈∏Y á°ù«æc Ωƒ≤J QƒcòªdG ≈∏q °üªo dG
,Ωɪàg’ÉH ôjóL ôeCG ƒgh .É«q ∏jEG »ÑædG
≥∏£J âfÉc áªjó≤dG ó«dÉ≤àdG ¿CG QÉÑàYÉH
»ÑædG º°SG hCG ¢Sƒ«LQhÉL ¢ùjqó≤dG º°SG
Towards
Beirut ó«dÉ≤àdG »a ô°†îdÉH ø«ahô©ªdG ,É«q ∏jEG
»a áeÉ≤ªdG ¢ùFÉæµdG ≈∏Y ,á«q eÓ°SE’G
á¡dBG IOÉÑ©d á°Sôq µªdG óHÉ©ªdG ™bGƒe
âÑãjo ɪq e ,QÉ£eC’Gh ¥hôÑdGh OƒYôdG
øcÉeCG çQGƒJ ¿CÉ°ûH áahô©ªdG IóYÉ≤dG
.Qƒ°ü©dG ôÑY É¡æ«Y ™bGƒªdG IOÉÑ©dG

Hosn Niha

Éë«f ø°üM

Hosn Niha
The Hosn Niha temples are reached by taking the road up the
hill to the north of the Niha temple site. Two Roman temples
were constructed at Hosn Niha, and many architectural and
decorated stones are spread all over the site today. Architectural
evidence at the site indicates that it was transformed into a
small fort during the medieval period.
Hosn Niha Complex

Cella

3
Portico

Adytum

10m

50m

Beginning of the visit Path

Visit path

Cella

1

Portico

2

100m

The Site
1

2

3

The Great Temple
The Byzantine Church
The Small Temple

Éë«f ø°üM
±hô©ªdG ™°VƒªdG ƃ∏H øµªj ,IôYh á«q ∏ÑL ≥jôW ∑ƒ∏°S ó©Hh ,Éë«f Ió∏H »dÉYCG »a
¿É¶Øàëj ¿’Gõj Ée »fÉehôdG ô°ü©dG øe ¿Gô«¨°U ¿GóÑ©e Ωƒ≤j å«M ,zÉë«f ø°üM{p`H
.ɪ¡°üFÉ°üN ¢†©ÑH

Hosn Niha

Éë«f ø°üM

1 & 2– The Great Temple
and the Byzantine Basilica

á«£fõ«ÑdG á°ù«æµdGh ô«ÑµdG óÑ©ªdG -2-1

sn Niha Complex

Built on a podium facing toward the east, the Great Temple (1) is
composed of a portico with four columns, leading to a cella, and
then to an elevated adytum. Today, the temple site is quite well
preserved – most of its walls are intact, but its columns are no
longer standing. The altar in front of the temple was destroyed
by a Byzantine Basilica (2) that was built over it. The Basilica
has three naves and a semi-circular apse to its east end. Today,
you can still see the lower portions of the Basilica walls.

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Cella

3
Portico

Adytum

Cella

1

Portico

2

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3– The Small
Temple

The Small Temple opens to
the south and was accessed
through a stairway that
is
almost
completely
50m destroyed today.
100m The
stairway leads to a portico
with two columns, and then
to a small cella with a small
niche at its end, which used
to2 hold the statue of the
he visit Path
god or goddess.

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Cella

3
Portico

The Site
1
2
3

The Great Temple
The Byzantine Church
The Small Temple

Temnine El-Faouqa

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Temnine El-Faouqa
The village of Temnine El-Faouqa is situated 4km from the town
of Ablah. After crossing over the main road inside the village, a
secondary road leads to a place called Ain el-Jeb (“the source
of the well”), which is the local name given to the small Roman
sanctuary located here. This vaulted sanctuary was built to
honor a goddess of flowing water. A stone with a carving of this
goddess was found in the site during excavations.
The architecture of this sanctuary is similar to the classical
Roman style, with a portico with two columns built between
two antae. The cella has two niches built inside its south and
north walls and a 4m deep water well in its center. This well
is usually filled with underground water running from the base
of the nearby mountain. The cella ends with a slightly elevated
platform, which forms the adytum. At the end of the adytum, a
small, semicircular niche, built in the north wall, used to hold
the statue of the god or goddess.
Today, the sanctuary has been completely restored, and only
the columns of the portico were destroyed during the Lebanese
war.

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Temnine Temple

Although the cult of the flowing water goddess was fairly
widespread in Lebanon, this sanctuary is unique because there
are very few temples in the region that were dedicated to this
goddess.

Cella

Adytum

Main road to Temnine El-Faouqa
& Beirut

Cella

10m

Portico

50m

100m

Qsarnaba

ÉÑfô°üb

Qsarnaba

ÉÑfô°üb

The Roman temple situated at the height of the village of
Qsarnaba has classical architecture similar to the other Roman
temples in the Békaa Valley.

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.º«eôàdG ∫ɪYCG

Built over a high podium, the temple is accessed by a
monumental stairway leading to a portico with four columns.
The portico is followed by the cella, which ends with a stairway
leading to the adytum.

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.Ék ©FÉ°T ¿Éc

A colonnaded altar was built in front of the temple in the typical
Roman style; it was constructed with a square stone that is
surrounded by four small columns on its four sides. This type
of altar was common in the Lebanese temples built during the
Roman era.
Today, this temple is quite well preserved. The base of the
altar, the temple base and stairway, and the lower portions of
the temple walls are still intact. Only the elevated adytum is no
longer standing.

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Qsarnaba Temple

Private Houses
Private Houses

Adytum
Cella
Portico

Altar

Private Houses
Towards
Beirut
10m

50m

100m

● Original text in Arabic by Dr. Hassan Salamé-Sarkis.
● English Translation by Assaad Seif.
● Maps: Assaad Seif.

.¢ù«cô°S áeÓ°S ¿É°ùM
q QƒàcódG ¢üf ●
.∞«°S ó©°SCG :§FGôîdG OGóYEG ●

www.DestinationLebanon.com

Glossary
Adytum:

A sacred inner space in a temple that the
public was forbidden to enter.

Altar:

Raised platform or structure where sacrifices
are offered and religious rites are performed.

Antae:

The plural of anta, a protruding wall on
the front side of a rectangular structure
(usually a temple) that delimits an open air
platform in front of the main door.

Apse:

A semi-circular area at east end of a church,
often with a domed or vaulted roof.

Basilica:

Large church with three naves.

Capital:

The top part of a column.

Cella:

The central space in a temple.

Colonnade:

A set of evenly spaced columns.

Corinthian
Style:

One of the five classical orders of
architecture, characterized by a slender,
fluted column and bell-shaped capital with
carved ornaments based on acanthus leaves.

Crypt:

An underground chamber, usually vaulted.

Genie:

A mythological, nonmaterial creature that
works as an attendant spirit.

Ionic Style:

A Greek architectural style characterized
by capitals with spirals on the sides.

Lintel:

A horizontal stone or beam, often located
over door or window.

Metropolitan: In the Eastern Orthodox Church, a
metropolitan is the head of an ecclesiastic
province, ranking between an archbishop
and a patriarch.
Nave:

The central space in a church.

Niche:

A recess in a wall, often containing a statue,
bust, or vase.

Oratory:

A small room or secluded place, set apart
for private prayer.

Podium:

A raised platform that supports a colonnade
or wall.

Portico:

Covered walkway in the form of a roof
supported by columns or pillars.

Relief:

Carvings of forms or figures projecting from
a flat surface.

See:

A district of a bishop.

Stele:

A monolithic stone slab that serves a
a monument and can sometimes have
an inscription.

Vault:

An arched structure forming a ceiling
or a roof.