El Arz - Les Cedres
northwest slopes of Mount Sannine (2,548 meters), against a
still wild scenic background, water thunders out from two
mighty springs, Nabeh el Laben and Nabeh el Assal (the
Spring of Milk and the Spring of Honey), and then cascades
tumultuously down the two steep valleys of Kafar Zebbian and
Just above the waterfall where the river tumbles out of
Nabeh el Laben, there stands a Canaanite temple dedicated to
Astarte, the mother goddess who was the symbol of fertility.
Only a few meters away from this shrine there rises a large
Roman temple of the 2nd century A.D., 30m long by 16m wide.
In front of it there is a rectangular courtyard, built up on
one side and on the other side level with the virgin rock. A
grandiose peristyle of six Corinthian columns of 2m diameter
each, like those of Baalbeck, overlooks a sacrificial altar
and a cella of great hewn blocks. This temple was dedicated
to the God of Gods.
Somewhat to the north of these constructions, one sees a
splendid natural bridge, one of the greatest in the world
with its 50-metre span, that overhangs a basin full of
enormous blocks of stone that have crashed down from the
sides. A keen eye easily discovers fossilized seashells
embedded in the surrounding strata, dating back 200 million
Faqra is home to one of the country's ski resorts and one of
the world's oldest private ski clubs.