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Sfireh, Minieh-Dannieh district

The Sfireh Temple complex lies about 35 kilometers outside of Tripoli, in the north, and just a beat down the main road that passes through the village of Sfireh. The foundations of a temple, partly covered by new buildings, which the town people call the Large House, are trickier to find. The main attraction at the complex is the Temple of Sfireh, known locally as Qalaat Al-Hosn or fortress castle, and it was built in the 2nd century A.D. One of the best-preserved temples in Lebanon, this colossus commands an impressive, sweeping view of the area from a height of 1,250 meters over sea level. The roof is gone, but the temple walls are almost completely intact, and it is of course very likely that it was once surrounded by giant columns like those at the Temple of Bacchus in Baalbek. It contains carvings on the front of the temple and square holes in the floor that were used for door support. The second temple at the complex features a main door flanked by two smaller ones, the left of which leads to the roof through an internal stairway. A third temple is built vertically over Qalaat Al-Hosn, and a fourth is situated on the slope that overlooks the site.