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Mdoukha Temple

Rashaya District

· Bekaa

The village of Mdoukha houses the remnants of a Roman temple.

Built on the crest of Jabal El Qasir, at an altitude of 1.350m, south of the village, the sanctuary has an breathtaking 360 degree view, overlooking Mount-Lebanon from the west and Mount-Hermon from the East.

Timeline

The temple dates back between the 2nd and the 3rd century AD.

Some scholars believe that an earlier structure has been built on site during the Hellenistic era.

Structure

The temple is an isolated structure from the neighboring villages, open to the South and built with local limestone.

Some sections of the sanctuary can still be seen, such as the podium and the antes (pillars), while others have disappeared with time, such as the peribola (enclosed area) and most of the cella (inner chamber)

The particularity - though strange - part of the temple lies in the shape of its antes (pillars), provided at their end with an axially engaged semi-column, while most of the Mount-Hermon temples which present this type of plan have rectangular or square antes.

East of the temple, remnants of another structure can be noticed - some scholars believe that the foundations may refer to an annex building of the original sanctuary, or a monumental altar.

The deity of the sanctuary is unknown since no inscriptions were found on site.

Accessibility

The structure is accessible via a 1 hour steep hiking trail from the eastern road that links Mdoukha to El Bire village.

It is strongly recommended to contact and inform Mdoukha municipality before you come to the village.

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

Karim Sokhn

Tour Operator & Tour Guide

References:

La vie Religieuse Au Liban Sous L'Empire Romain - Julien Aliquo

The view from the main structure with Mount-Lebanon in the horizon

The northern wall of the temple

The southern wall of the temple

The top of the antes (pillars) with the axially engaged semi-column design

Remnants of the second structure, with the temple's northern wall seen on the left side

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