(35 km east of Tripoli)
From the summer resort of SÓr Danniyyeh ask the way to Sfireh
village, some 9 kilometers along a narrow winding road. The
temples are located on a mountainside on the far outskirts of
A five-minute walk will get you to the
first site, known locally as "Qalaat al-Hosn." This
2nd century Roman temple has survived almost intact except
for the pediment and cornice. It is a large, imposing building
with a surprising number of structural details remaining. Look
for carvings on the front of the main temple and the popular
acanthus leaf design. In the floor you can still see square
holes used for door jambs. There is a Greek language
inscription on the outside wall.
From the larger temple, a steep path winds
left up the hill to the ruins of a smaller monument and some
standing columns. In this temple, which is half in ruins, note
the fine altar, fallen on its side, with a bull's head carved
within a wreath on the three exposed sides. The stonework on
the interior of the standing wall is particularly fine.
In the southwest part of Sfireh itself can
be found the remains of yet another temple, this one hidden
among the modern-day buildings. If you are in the mood to
explore, ask for "Beit al-Kebir" (big house).
Villagers will help you to locate it.