The little palace was actually the royal harem of Aanjar. It is indeed smaller and in a more ruinous state than the caliph's great palace. but, if you examine it carefully, you can find some interesting little carvings of birds and foliage.
Go early and enjoy these amazing ruins in peace and quiet.
There are some problems with this site: some of the restoration is extremely debatable! Our guide told us that many experts believe that stones have been placed in totally inappropriate places. There are mosaics to be seen, mystery steps which seem to be facing the wrong direction and a beautiful tetrapylon.
The cafe by the entrance sells arak if you're heading for your Syrian Airlines flight home!
The location of Aanjar in the Beeka Valley with the Lebanon and Chouf mountains at the background is wonderful.
Except the most striking structures like the Omayyad palace and the tetrastyle, we saw remains of another palace, more arcades, baths, shops, houses and the wall and gates around the site.
The site is open from 8 am till sunset.
The most striking of the remains of the Umayyad palace in Aanjar are the elegant tiers of arches, that betray a Byzantnie touch.
After the very Roman lay-out and outlook of Aanjar at first glance this palace was a nice surprise for us.
We enjoyed the fact, that we were walking there alone during our visit and had all the opportunity and time to discover the site on our own way.
The most striking and beautiful building in the Aanjar site you can find in the south east part, the great Umayyad palace, residence of the khalifs.
The great palace has an impressive structure. Around the quadrangular courtyard of 20 M lenght were high, graceful arches in a kind of Byzantine style.
The Cardo Maximus and the Decumanus Maximus were flanked by hundreds of shops in the old days with wide arcades in front.
The columns of the arcades were all different in size and type and crowned with different capitals too, most looking byzantine.
600 shops are still uncovered.
At the crossing of the two mainstreets stands the Tetrapylon, reminiscent of roman arches of triumph.
It was nice that just a horseman was passing, when we were there.
Aanjar is a fortified Umayyad city with a rectangular lay-out with two major main streets, crossing each other in the centre of the place. At the four ends of the main streets were fortified gates.
We entered the site by the north gate and walked along the Cardo Maximus, one of the mainstreets. The other mainstreet is called the Decumanus Maximus.
In 1995 we had no entrance to pay.
We were the only visitors together with a woman from New Zealand and a small group local women.
Remains of the only mosque in the ancient city of Aanjar are located just north of the Great Palace. Only the foundation can be traced (seen in the foreground of the photo).
The decumanus maximus is the main east-west road through the city, and intersects with the cardo maximus at the tetrapylon. It is a bit more neglected and overgrown than the cardo maximus.
Most of Aaanjar is surrounded by a sturdy city wall along which there are several defensive towers. This is the first thing you will see as you approach Aanjar and the last as you walk away.