Aanjar

Location: 58 Kilometers from Beirut

Era: Islamic-The Umayyads- 8th Century A.D.


Other sites to explore:

  1. Ain Gerrha: Aanjar's major springs.

  2. Majdal Aanjar: A Roman period temple.

  3. The Mausoleum of El-Wali Zawur: A burial spot from medieval times.

  4. Kfar Zabad: Roman temple ruins and a cave.


Aanjar has a unique type of beauty. It's elegant columns and arches stand in the mid of the Anti-Lebanon mountains as a reminder of this special era when it once served as an inland commercial center. The name "Aanjar" is derived from the Arabic Ain Gerrha, "the source of Gerrha".  Aanjar is surrounded by the richest agricultural land and is located close to the Litani River, one of the most important water sources.
A 114,000 m2 site, circled by the remains of what once stood as mighty city defensive walls, the north-south walls are 370 meters long and the east-west sides stretch out for another 310 meters. The walls are built with huge blocks of mud and rubble and are 2 meters thick. A total of 40 towers and gates can be found along with the walls reflecting the Umayyad's obsession with  protecting their territory in a time of history known for its hostile takeovers by other predators.  Today, these walls tell the story of the Umayyads; around 60 inscriptions are scattered around them.
   
If you walk up the main street at the southern side of the city, you will be greeted by the historic shops of the commercial center of the Umayyads. In total, 600 shops were uncovered by the two main streets of the city: the "Cardo Maximus", which is Latin for main street, from North to South and the Decumanus Maximus which runs from East to West.
   
The main palace was the first discovery that emerged to uncover the rest of the city. Today, the southern part of the palace has been reconstructed. Next to the palace, lies a mosque with two public entrances.
Further ahead another palace can be seen from a distance. However, no reconstruction efforts were made to bring it back to life. Yet, the original fine decorations and artistic details inspired from the Roman traditions are captivating.