`Anjar Things to Do

  • Surviving shops - March 2005
    Surviving shops - March 2005
    by MM212
  • Small Palace on the left (Nov 2005)
    Small Palace on the left (Nov 2005)
    by MM212
  • March 2005
    March 2005
    by MM212

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    Shops Along the Cardo

    by MM212 Updated Mar 11, 2010

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    Seen in the attached photo are the remains of the small shops that once lined the cardo maximus of Aanjar. In its short existence, the town benefited from its location on an intersection between the short trade route from Damascus to the coastal towns of Lebanon, and the longer route from Palestine to Baalbek and northern Syria.

    Surviving shops - March 2005 Dec 09
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    The Hammam

    by MM212 Updated Jan 19, 2010

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    Located just east of the cardo maximus, near the entrance to the site, are the remains of the baths (hammam) of Aanjar. Two mosaic floors have survived fairly well, at least in fragments. The ovens for heating the water can also be seen along with some discs that supported the raised floor of the hypocaust.

    Mosaics in the baths - Dec 09 Another mosaic floor - Dec 09 The baths of Aanjar - Dec 09
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    The Small Palace

    by MM212 Updated Jan 19, 2010

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    The Small Palace was located in the north-east quadrant, at the corner where the cardo and decumanus intersected. It is thought to have served as the private quarters of the rulers, whereas the Great Palace served as the public quarters. Unlike the Great Palace, only the foundation walls and a couple of arches from the Small Palace have survived.

    Small Palace Arches - Dec 09 Small Palace on the left (Nov 2005) Small Palace Details (Dec 09)
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    Residential Quarters

    by MM212 Updated Jan 19, 2010

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    The north-west and south-west quadrants of the city of Anjar consisted mainly of residential dwellings. Only the foundation of these modest buildings can be seen beyond the cardo and decumanus (see attached photo).

    Residential Quarter - Dec 2009
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    Decumanus Maximus

    by MM212 Updated Jan 19, 2010

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    The decumanus maximus, the smaller avenue, runs east-west through the city and crosses the cardo maximus at the point where the Tetrapylon is erected. A few of the arched porticoes along the decumanus are still standing upright. The small palace and the mosque are situated along this avenue.

    Decumanus Maximus - Dec 2009 March 2005 Nov 2005 Decumanus in Nov 05
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    Cardo Maximus

    by MM212 Updated Jan 19, 2010

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    The layout of this Omayyad city is based on a Graeco-Roman plan, divided into four quarters with two main avenues running through it. The cardo maximus, the north-south thoroughfare, was the main one and it intersected the decumanus maximus in the middle where the Tetrapylon currently stands. This avenue was bordered by arched porticoes containing shops on either side, but only small sections of the colonnades and shops have survived (see photos).

    The Cardo Maximus (Nov 05) Arcades lining the cardo maximus Leading to the Tetrapylon (March 2005) March 2005 The same view in Dec 2009
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    The Mosque on Mount Saint Elias

    by MM212 Updated May 20, 2008

    This Mosque, built on a hill called Mount Saint Elias (Jabal Mar Elias), is visible from around Aanjar. It frequently offers a postcard picture because of its hilltop situation against the snow-covered mountains in the background. What's also striking is that it is a mosque built on a hill named after a Christian saint - only in the Middle East!

    March 2005 November 2005 March 2008 March 2008

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    The Great Palace

    by MM212 Updated May 20, 2008

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    The Great Palace is the highest remaining structure in Aanjar, albeit in ruins. Beautiful Byzantine-style arches on Roman-style Corinthian columns (reused from nearby Roman ruins) define where the central courtyard of this Omayyad palace once stood. Elegant Byzantine motifs decorate the doorways. The combination of three distinct civilisations, Roman, Byzantine and Omayyad, in this one palace is fascinating.

    Byzantine motifs
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    The Tetrapylon

    by MM212 Updated May 20, 2008

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    The four Corinthian columns of the Tetrapylon mark the centre of Aanjar. They were erected at the point of intersection of the cardo maximus with the decumanus maximus, the two avenues dividing the city into four quarters. Much like other Corinthian columns in Aanjar, these were transported from nearby Roman ruins, probably from Baalbek, and reused in the construction of Aanjar.

    Snow covered mountains behind (March 05) Tetrapylon (Nov 05) Syria is on the other side!
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    The Baths

    by iwys Updated Apr 19, 2007

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    The main city baths are probably the first part of Aaanjar you will wnder around as they are just inside the main entrance, to the left, shaded by trees. They are very similar in style to Roman baths, having three main sections: a changing area, a bathing area and a sitting area. The floors were once completely covered with mosaics, but only two areas of these remain.

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    The Tetrapylon

    by iwys Updated Apr 19, 2007

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    A tetrapylon is an arrangement of four groups of four columns, marking the intersection of the two main roads, the cardo maximus and the decumanus, at the centre of classical cities. The one at Aanjar is actually quite similar to the one at Palmyra., but only one of the four sets of columns is still standing.

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    Cardo Maximus

    by iwys Updated Apr 19, 2007

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    The cardo maximus was the main street of Aanjar. It was not dissimilar from the high street of a modern town, and was lined with hundreds of small shops. You can still see these lining both sides of the street, and as I wandered in each one, I wondered what they once sold. I guess a lot of them sold local produce, such as olive oil and dried figs, as well as textiles and other goods brought in by camel trains from far away.

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    The Great Palace

    by iwys Updated Apr 19, 2007

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    The great palace is the most impressive building at Aaanjar. It was built by Walid I, the sixth Umayyad caliph, early in the eighth century. One of the walls is still largely intact as well as some of the columns and arches, so it is easy to envisage how beautiful it must have looked 1300 years ago.

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    The Residential Area

    by iwys Written Sep 13, 2006

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    The main residential area, where the ordinary citizens of Aanjar lived, is to the right of the cardo maximus, as you walk in, on the opposite side to the palaces. As in most ancient cities I have visited, it is the most overgrown and neglected part of the site.

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    The Shops

    by iwys Written Sep 13, 2006

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    Over 600 shops have been discovered at Aanjar, neatly lining the cardo maximus and decumanus maximus. They are all about the same size and most of them have just one entrance opening onto the mains street, although a few in the centre also have a rear entrance.

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`Anjar Things to Do

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