The forgotten temple of Majdel Anjar

Located on a strategic hilltop and overlooking the valley, Majdel Anjar temple is one of the most impressive Roman sites that I’ve ever visited.

The Itureans, a semi-nomadic tribe who could be “the first Arabs” took over southern Bekaa region and founded a city called Chalcis in the surroundings of Majdel Anjar. The Romans who then controlled the whole region, constructed this massive temple and it is believed that it was built by “Herod of Chalcis” who ruled as the King of Chalcis from 41 to 48 AD and who dedicated this temple to a local God.

The temple was later transformed into a fortress during the medieval era to control and protect the road between the Bekaa and Damascus from the Crusaders who controlled the facing mountain range and the coast .

Here’s an illustration of how the facades of the temple looked like 2000 years ago!

E. von Beerfelde, dans Krencker & Zschietzschmann 1938, pl. 76

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