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Qasr Naous Roman Temples

  • archaelogical site

Rechdebine, Koura district

The ancient Roman Naous temples are perched on a hilltop at 600 meters above sea level, and even in their partly ruined state, the majesty of their presence in this particular setting can hardly have been diminished since their prime. The views from around the site, overlooking Kousba, in the Koura District, in the north, from just outside the village of Ain Akrin, are still breathtaking. The first temple, to the east, has survived fairly well, and like the sanctuary at Machnaqa, northeast of Beirut, it is surrounded by an enclosure with a decorated entrance gate. In front of the temple, the remains of an altar are visible, while a substantial part of the temple itself is still standing. Visitors will recognize the remains of a staircase much like the ones in the large temple at Niha, in the Beqaa and the temple of Bacchus in Baalbek, in eastern Lebanon. The second temple is also surrounded by an enclosure with a gate, though it is less well preserved, and it seems likely that it has suffered both earthquake damage and the appropriation of its stones by subsequent builders in the region. A relief featuring the face of the sun god now lies in the grass in front of the ruin.