"Aanjar" Top 5 Page for this destination `Anjar by MM212

`Anjar Travel Guide: 31 reviews and 193 photos

The Tetrapylon Against the Lebanon Mountains

Aanjar lies in the Beqaa Valley on the road between Beirut and Damascus, only a short drive from the Syrian border. The town has a large Armenian-Lebanese population and used to be the base for the Syrian army during their long presence in Lebanon before their withdrawal in 2005. Street signs are tri-lingual, Armenian, Arabic and English.

Aanjar's main attraction is the picturesque and peaceful archeological site. It contains the ancient city of Aanjar, which was built by the Omayyad dynasty in 715 AD, around the same time as the construction of the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus. The purpose of the city was to serve as a retreat for the ruling dynasty from the summer heat of Damascus. Aanjar's location on an important trade route ensured that it was also a commercial town. The Omayyads utilised Byzantine architects to build Aanjar, before a distinct Islamic architectural style had been developed. The city was thus drawn on a Graeco-Roman plan, but with clear Byzantine architectural forms, while re-using Corinthian columns from nearby Roman ruins.

Unfortunately, Aanjar's existence was ephemeral, as the city quickly went into decline with the fall of the Damascene Omayyad dynasty. What was leftover was destroyed by earthquakes. Today, we are left with Lebanon's only whole Omayyad-period city and some of the country's few architectural remains from that period. The beautiful site could be visited on the same trip as Baalbek.

Lebanon itinerary in March 2005:

Beirut - Beqaa Valley - Baalbek - Aanjar - Liban Nord (northern Lebanon) - El Arz - Tripoli - Mont Liban - Byblos - Tyre - Sidon

Lebanon itinerary in November 2005:

Beirut - Liban Nord (northern Lebanon) - Tripoli - Beqaa Valley - Baalbek - Aanjar - Mont Liban - Byblos

Syria & Lebanon itinerary in March 2008:

Syria - Beqaa Valley (passed by Aanjar) - Beirut

Lebanon & Syria itinerary in Dec 2009/Jan 2010:

Beirut - Liban Nord - Tripoli - Byblos - Beqaa Valley - Aanjar - Damascus - Baalbek - Mont Liban - Tyre - Sidon

  • Last visit to `Anjar: Dec 2009
  • Intro Updated Jan 5, 2010
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