Niha is a village in the Bekaa valley about 8 km (5.0 mi) North of Zahle. It is famous for its Roman archeological ruins, and in particular two lower Roman temples that date back to the 1st century AD and one temple located above Niha.

The two lower Temples:

The remains are visible of two Roman temples, one of which has been restored. This faces to the north and it can be reached by going up three successive levels dominated by four columns with Corinthian capitals. One can see sculptures and bas-reliefs representing a high priest in drapery with three icons; on his head there is a “lebbadeh” surmounted by a crescent and in his hand a vase for pouring out holy water. The main entrance is grandiose, superb, with one enormous monolithic stone on which is carved an eagle opening its wings, like the one ornamenting the temple of Bacchus at Baalbek.


The second temple, a smaller one, on the left of the stream, goes back to Phoenician times and was dedicated to Hadaranes, god of the oranges, and to the goddess-mother Atargatis, goddess of the waters and of springs. Here the element of water used to be venerated and blessed.

There are inscriptions still visible, one of which refers to “The Virgin Prophetess”, Sophia, Wisdom, who was the priestess of the god Hadaranes. Also at Niha one may still see a monument to the prophet Naji Najm, a citadel and more temples. There is an old church dedicated to Saint Anthony and a more recent one of the same name. There is a church named after Saint Elijah “the Living”, who was borne to heaven alive on a chariot of fire.

On the top of Mount Niha (el Hosn) one discovers a third Roman temple, like the others in the style of those at Baalbek. A little further on are quarries for stone going back to Roman times.