Afqa is a village and municipality located in the Jbeil District of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, 71 kilometers (44 mi) northeast of Beirut in Lebanon It has an average elevation of 1,200 meters above sea level and a total land area of 934 hectares.
The waterfall at Afqa is the source for the River Adonis and is located on a 600-foot (180 m) bluff that forms an immense natural amphitheater.The river emerges from a large limestone cave in the cliff wall which stores and channels water from the melted snow of the mountains before releasing it into springs and streams below. At Afqa, several watery threads flow from the cave to form numerous cataracts, a scene of great beauty. The cave has over two miles (three km) of known passageways inside.
A great and ancient temple is located here, where ritual prostitution was practiced until the time of Constantine. Sir James Frazer attributes its construction to the legendary forebear of King Cinyras, who was said to have founded a sanctuary for Aphrodite (i.e. Astarte). Reconstructed on a grander scale in Hellenistic times, then destroyed by the Emperor Constantine the Great in the fourth century,it was partially rebuilt by the later fourth-century emperor, Julian the Apostate.The site was finally abandoned during the reign of Theodosius I.Massive hewn blocks and a fine column of Syenite granite still mark the site, on a terrace facing the source of the river.The remains of a Roman aqueduct that carried the waters of the River Adonis to the ancient inhabitants of Jebail are also located here
Yanouh is a village and municipality in the Jbeil District of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, Lebanon. It is located 94 kilometers north of Beirut. Yanouh’s inhabitants are predominantly Maronite Catholics. Its average elevation is 1,120 meters above sea level and its total land area is 147 hectares. Yanouh stands on the slopes of Joubbat El Mnaitra, five miles east of Qartaba, on the right bank high up in the ravine carved out by the Adonis River, now known as Nahr Ibrahim.
Yanouh, once a Phoenician center, is half-way between Byblos (Jbeil) and Heliopolis (Baalbek), around 20 km as the crow flies from the Mediterranean sea. Its Phoenician temple is a monument to the same religion as that of Apheca, but the later Roman temple was dedicated to Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt and daughter of the god Jupiter.
Yanouh is known for its 2nd century CE Roman temple, its Byzantine basilica and medieval chapel. In 750 AD, at the time of the fifth Maronite patriarch, John Maron II, then installed in Yanouh, the Roman temple was converted into a church consecrated to Saint George. Between 750 and 1277, twenty-three successors of Patriarch John Maroun resided there; under the Crusades, the number of Yanouh’s inhabitants had risen to 3500, while the churches numbered more than thirty-five. Yanouh is also notable for its Hellenistic cult building containing the earliest Aramaic inscription found in Lebanon
Machnaqa is a small Lebanese village on the western slopes of the Lebanon Mountains, more or less halfway between Byblos and Afqa. There is an ancient altar in the shape of a low tower. More famous examples of this type of structure are the altar-towers the Great Court in front of the temple of Jupiter in Baalbek.
the altar originally consisted of a small platform, which was, in a later building phase, included in a larger structure with a slightly different orientation. This second monument was, in turn, integrated into the third building, which was a real tower altar, not unlike the Small Altar at Faqra. This monument is about eight meters high and surrounded by columns with Doric capitals. On top of this platform, the priests could sacrifice small animals.
Some hundred meters north of the sanctuary are several rock tombs with three reliefs. Every one of these shows a person in a niche. The first and third relief show smaller figures in front of this niche, which suggests that the standing man and the sitting lady represent deities (Adonis and a mournful Aphrodite?), while the smaller figures are worshippers.
Thoughtful thoughts to your inbox