Anjar

Founded during the eighth-century Umayyad Caliphate, the city of Anjar was an inland trading centre at the crossroads of two important routes: one connecting the Mediterranean coast with the Syrian interior and the other linking northern Syria with northern Palestine. Archaeologists only discovered the site at the end of the 1940s when excavations uncovered a fortified city covering an area of some 114,000 square metres and surrounded by two-metre-thick walls.

Two main 20-metre-wide streets, a north-south axis (cardo maximus) and an east-west axis (decumanus maximus), divide the city into four equal quarters, with private and public buildings laid out according to a strict plan: the partially rebuilt Grand Palace with its central courtyard surrounded by a peristyle, the Small Palace with its numerous ornamental fragments and its richly decorated central entrance, and a mosque located between the two palaces, as well as small harems and baths. The ruins are dominated by a monumental Tetrapylon, a structure consisting of four columns which stand at the crossroads of the two main streets. These structures incorporate decorative or architectural elements of the Roman era.

Anjar is one of five cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Lebanon.

Coordinates: 33°43’57.7″N 35°56’00.3″E

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