The Sfireh temple was 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.

sfireh templesfireh temple

One of the largest ruins in Lebanon, the Sfireh temple complex lies about 35 kilometers (21 miles) outside of Tripoli and just a beat down the main road that passes through the village of Sfireh. The foundations of a temple, partly covered by new buildings and which the town people call the “Large House,” are trickier to find.

The main attraction at the complex is the Temple of Sfireh, known locally as “Qalaat al-Hosn” or “fortress castle.The temple was built on a hilltop 1,100m above sea level, overlooking the Dannieh middle mountains and the Sfireh pine and oak forest.

sfireh temple

sfireh temple

The temple is well preserved, lacking only the pediment and the cornice. It is rectangular, thirty meters by fifteen, made of huge blocks of stone hewn with great precision. The façade has three doors.

The largest door, in the middle, is surrounded by molding. The other two doors are smaller and narrower and without ornamentation.

The one on the left leads to an inner flight of stairs hewn in the thickness of the wall and leading to the temple terrace, much like a labyrinth and a real feat of construction.

sfireh temple

sfireh temple

On the right side a small door gives access to a crypt which is as long as the temple is wide. To the right there are two rooms of the same dimensions as the temple but now in a state of complete ruin.

Two columns still stand but their capitals lay on the ground. On the same site you can see two other small monuments left from ancient times. The Sfireh village contains also an old church, an old mosque and cemetery, and some traditional Lebanese houses.

sfireh temple