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Burj El Naqoura

Tyr District

· South

El Naqoura town houses a defensive tower that dates back to the Medieval era.

The tower is currently not accessible since it is located at the UNIFIL headquarters.

Historical Background

Following the Mamluk victory over the Crusaders and their conquest of the Levant, a series of watch towers were built on the coast in the 13th century.

The towers once formed an unbroken chain of light-of-sight observation posts from Naqoura to Naher el-Kebir. Their purpose was to defend the coast by preventing future crusader landings.

Structure

Measuring 10 meters high and rectangular-shaped (12x11 meters), the tower's facings are smooth, except for a few rubble stones which bear a slight embossment. 

The first level is vaulted, accessible through a single door on the east side. A low wall approximately one meter high, built perpendicular to the axis of the vault, cuts the volume in two. It is open in its center to a man's width. Two simple openings have been made in the west and east walls, under the ridge of the vault.

The second level is accessible through a straight staircase built into the thickness of the north wall.

The second level is formed by a large room covered by two cross vaults arranged along an east-west axis. At the junction of the two vaults, a modern period shear wall has been erected, thus forming two distinct volumes. This level probably included arrow slits, but the north, west and south faces do not bear any obvious trace of these arrangements.

The third level is accessible through a second straight staircase also fitted into the north wall. From the top, the view of the coast is far reaching.

It is the last tower in Lebanon before reaching occupied Palestine.

*Scroll down to enjoy the pictures and to locate the site on the map.

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Karim Sokhn

Tour Operator & Tour Guide

References:

http://www.orient-latin.com/fortresses/naqoura

 

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