The temple is Ein Akrine. Photo credit: François Bacha for

The complex of Roman temples in the locality of Ein Ankrine is located in the caza of Koura in North Lebanon, just above Amioun and at the gates of the holy valley of Kadisha. The first descriptions of the places were made during the famous Mission in Phoenician by Ernest Renan in the XIX th century.

The name of the village is of Syriac origin and means “abundant water” due to the presence of springs nearby.

Today called Qasr Naous , with its 2 temples, one of which is smaller in the east, and the other in the west more imposing but which has however suffered more from the vicissitudes of history and in particular from the earthquakes which shake the region. The site was used until the Middle Ages, with the discovery in the 1960s of Frankish, Armenian and Arab coins. At the foot of the eastern temple is a small complex of fairly recently built houses and a small chapel.

The eastern temple is fairly well preserved, with the presence, according to the guards, of a crypt that cannot be accessed. This temple is surrounded by a fence with a richly decorated entrance made of mainly floral motifs. It also has Corinthian-type columns. It is accessed by a monumental staircase.

The second temple located to the west was more damaged. Today only the fence remains with parts that were taken by the local populations for the construction of their homes.

The complex resembles in its architecture other temples in the region, and in particular those of Mechnaqa or Baalbeck, dating from the same period. It could be that the same craftsmen contributed to it.

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The current village of Ein Ankrine is much more recent. It would have been established in the XIX th century following a family dispute within the El Khoury family.

To get to the ruins of Ein Akrine:

Also read:

North Lebanon: Bziza or the sleeping Roman temple

On the Net:

Perseus: Archaeological research in Lebanon

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