Facts and Data
Unesco World heritage since: 1984
Size of heritage:
The city of Anjar was founded by Caliph Walid I at the beginning of the 8th century. The ruins reveal a very regular layout, reminiscent of the palace-cities of ancient times, and are a unique testimony to city planning under the Umayyads.
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Anjar: A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lebanon
Anjar, located in the District of Zahle in the Beqaa Governorate of Lebanon, is a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site that holds immense historical and cultural significance. This ancient city, nestled in the fertile Beqaa Valley, is renowned for its well-preserved ruins that offer a glimpse into the past.
Anjar was founded in the early 8th century by Caliph Walid I, an Umayyad ruler. It served as a commercial center and a meeting point for various cultures, including the Umayyads, Byzantines, and Abbasids. The city flourished for a brief period before being abandoned in the 9th century.
The strategic location of Anjar, situated on the crossroads between Beirut, Damascus, and Homs, contributed to its prosperity. The city's layout reflects a fusion of Roman and Persian architectural styles, showcasing the influence of these civilizations on the Umayyad dynasty.
Today, Anjar stands as a testament to the rich history of the region. The site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984, recognizing its outstanding universal value. The ruins of Anjar are remarkably well-preserved, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore the ancient city.
One of the most striking features of Anjar is its grid-like layout, which is distinct from other Umayyad cities. The city is divided into two main sections: the residential area and the commercial area. The residential area consists of palaces, baths, and houses, while the commercial area includes markets, shops, and a grand mosque.
The Umayyad Palace, located in the residential area, is a highlight of the site. This magnificent structure showcases intricate architectural details, such as decorative arches, ornate columns, and beautiful mosaics. The palace is believed to have served as a residence for the Umayyad rulers during their visits to Anjar.
Visitors can also explore the Great Mosque, which is one of the largest surviving Umayyad mosques in the region. The mosque features a central courtyard, surrounded by arcades and a prayer hall. Its architectural design reflects a blend of Roman and Islamic influences.
Despite its historical significance, Anjar faces various challenges, including natural decay and the impact of urbanization. Efforts are being made to preserve and protect the site, including ongoing restoration projects and the implementation of conservation measures.
Anjar is not only a treasure trove of history but also a place of immense beauty. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, the site offers visitors a serene and captivating experience. Exploring the ruins of Anjar is like stepping back in time, allowing one to appreciate the architectural brilliance and cultural diversity of the Umayyad era.
As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Anjar serves as a reminder of Lebanon's rich cultural heritage and its contribution to the world's history. It stands as a symbol of the country's commitment to preserving its past and sharing it with future generations.
Large airport - 26 mi (43 km) Damascus International Airport
Large airport - 40 mi (65 km) Kiryat Shmona Airport
Small airport - 40 mi (65 km) Ben Ya'akov Airport
Medium airport - 55 mi (90 km) Haifa International Airport
Medium airport - 81 mi (132 km) King Hussein Air College
Small airport - 97 mi (156 km) Bassel Al-Assad International Airport
Large airport - 116 mi (187 km) Amman-Marka International Airport
Medium airport - 121 mi (196 km) Ben Gurion International Airport
Large airport - 133 mi (215 km) Queen Alia International Airport
Large airport - 138 mi (223 km)
Bigger and popular cities in the wider vicinity are these:
- Ad Dimas
- Al Hajar al Aswad
- At Tall
- Az Zabadani
- Beit ed Dine
- Jdaidet el Matn
- Joubb Jannine
- Mazra`at Bayt Jinn
- Rachaiya el Ouadi
- `Ayn al Fijah
These are some smaller cities that might be interesting. They are all rather close.
- Aita el Foukhar
- Barr Elias
- Deir Zenoun
- Ed Dakoue
- Ej Jezire
- El Establ
- El Faaour
- El Khiara
- El Marj
- Haouch el Harime
- Judaydat Yabus
- Judaydat Yabus
- Kafr Yabus
- Kfar Zabad
- Ksar al Hanash
- Ksar el Hanach
- Majdel Aanjar
- Marah al Massayat
- Tell ez Zaazeaa