The Sfireh temples were built in the time of the Emperor Septimius Severus in the 2nd century AD. which explains the name of the village of Sfireh, adapted from Severus.
One of the largest ruins in Lebanon, the Sfireh temple complex lies about 35 kilometers outside of Tripoli and just a beat down the main road that passes through the village of Sfireh. .
The main attraction at the complex is the Temple of Sfireh, known locally as “Qalaat al-Hosn” or “fortress castle. The temple complex was built on a hilltop 1,100m above sea level, overlooking the Dannieh middle mountains and the Sfireh pine and oak forest.
In the main site there are three temples:
- A: Grand sanctuary and temple. Peristyle with tetrastyle pronaos, open to the east. Podium of megalithic construction. One wall is dated by inscription 283-4 A.D. Of interest is that the benefactors, Aristonas, Diodoros and Silonas, all have Greek names, but the architect, Gaius, and his stonemasons, Bennius and Publius have Roman names. A discussion of this and other inscriptions at the site has been published by Jean-Baptiste Yon3.
- B: Two column antae temple of the Ionic order, open to the east 3.5 m north of A.
- C: Cult edifice East and below A
- Stage 1 – open air sanctuary 6m square in two levels with columns at the corners and possibly a statue on a plinth.
- Stage 2 – a building placed over stage 1, 16.2×10.1m, probably after 212 A.D.
A fourth temple D is located 20m above A, on a built-up terrace sanctuary. Similar to the building enclosing C. Enclosed by a peristyle of 12 columns. Entrance (to its sanctuary) faces west.
Temple E is on the summit of the hill, and F (Beit el-Kebir) is in the village.