Faqra Ruins

The temples of Qalaat Faqra at 1,550 meters are the most extensive Roman ruins of all Mount Lebanon. 

The site is dominated by a huge tower 15 meters square, which originally had a third story and a pyramid-shaped roof. An interior staircase leads up to top. A Greek inscription on the north-east corner of the tower and another above the door indicate that the building was restored by the Roman Emperor Claudius in 43 AD.

    About 50 meters north-west of the tower is a large altar, probably associated with the tower itself. Not far away is a colonnaded altar. The main temple, dedicated to a “very great god,” is a rewarding place to investigate, with its restored columns and the remains of an altar. It had a square courtyard which was surrounded by a colonnade on three sides.

    Continuing down the slope you reach the small temple, dedicated to “the Syrian goddess,” a local form of the goddess Atargatis. Also note the basin in the floor and the benches along the side wall. This temple was made into a church in the 4th century AD.

    The ski trails of the Faqra Club, located south of Ouyoun es-Siman (Faraya-Mzaar) at 1,750 meters, overlook the sea and the bay of Beirut. Members only, but special arrangements are available for tourists.