We set of on a tour, and our first stop was at the ruins of Anjar in the district of Zahle, approximately 58km from Beirut. The city was founded at the beginning of the 8th century during the Umayyad civilization, but it was never completed. The Umayyad civilization is the first hereditary dynasty of Islam, and ruled from 660 to 750 A.D.
The city is 114 000 square meters. You can still see the palace with its three floors, columns, where the public baths were located and the division of the city into four equal quadrants. With the excavations, they discovered that the city was fortified, and there were 40 towers.
Anjar was one of the main commercial centers. It is located at the crossroads of Beirut and Damascus and of the Bekaa, which leads from Homs to Tiberiade.
The word Anjar, in Arabic means “moving water source”, because of the water that came from the mountains, and you can still see the canals for the water.
These ruins are the only ones from the Umayyad civilization, and they are also the only constructions with manmade bricks and decorations.