The Armenians who populate Anjar are the descendants of the survivors of Musa Dag, an incident that occurred in Turkey at the end of the First World War and which is part of the broader genocide disputed hotly by the Turkish state. Musa Dag is a region of Turkey in which Armenians made a last stand against Ottoman troops, fortifying themselves on Musa Dag mountain against besieging Ottoman troops. They held out on the mountain until the French government sent a warship to evacuate the Armenians, after which they were resettled in France as refugees, before being granted permission to settle permanently in the Beqaa Valley. In commemoration of the history of the Armenian families who now occupy Anjar, there is a large monument dedicated to the events at Musa Dag and the assistance provided by the French government.
Anjar is almost entirely Armenian, and thus it should not be a surprise that the largest church in the town is an Armenian one. The fact that the population was settled here in the 1930s means that St. Paul’s is not a historic church – it was not erected anywhere near the same time as the nearby Umayyad ruins – but it is still in the traditional Armenian structure, with its octagonal spire and its clean block forms. I didn’t have the opportunity to enter the church when I visited Anjar, and I’m not sure that it is terribly appreciated that outsiders venture in, but it is still a pleasant sight to photograph.
Situated on the Beirut-Damascus road in the Beqaa, Aanjar is one of the few remaining architectural heritages from the Omayyad period in Lebanon. The ancient city was built in 715 AD with Byzantine craftsmanship in the earliest days of the Islamic civilisation, before its signature architectural identity was developed. The city was thus designed on a Graeco-Roman plan with Byzantine architectural elements, while reusing Corinthian columns from nearby Roman ruins. The site itself is very peaceful with great views of the snow-capped mountains in the cooler months. The new town currently has a large Armenian-Lebanese population and was once the base for the Syrian army during their long presence in Lebanon before their withdrawal in 2005. Street signs are tri-lingual, Armenian, Arabic and English. Click on Aanjar to see more.
When Israel invaded Lebanon in the summer of 2006, the Beqaa Valley was heavily bombed. The strategic Beirut-Damascus road, one of the lifelines of Lebanon, was specifically targeted. A number of bridges along the road were completely destroyed. On my visit in March 2008, the road was completely repaired with the exception of one last bridge. The restoration of this big bridge, shown in the attached photos, was in fact the last work in progress of the large number of destroyed bridges around the whole of Lebanon.
Charl digol..had been there....that's enough..for me Old lebanese hotel..you want to go back in...more