Mount Hermon is a mountain cluster constituting the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. Its summit straddles the border between Syria and Lebanon and, at 2,814 m above sea level, is the second highest point in Lebanon.
On the top, in the United Nations buffer zone between Syrian and Israeli-occupied territories, is the highest permanently manned UN position in the world, known as “Hermon Hotel”, located at 2814 metres altitude. The southern slopes of Mount Hermon extend to the Israeli-occupied portion of the Golan Heights.
The name Hermon is derived from the root ḥrm “sacred”, called also Jabal al-shaykh “mountain of the chief” (in Arabic).
This strategic mountain that has been a sacred landmark since the Bronze Age and was mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The first settlements date from 200 BC. It represents the northwestern limit of Israelite conquest under Moses and Joshua. It is also meant to be the place chosen by Jesus Christ for His Transfiguration.
Mount Hermon is mentioned (15 times) in the Bible as Hermon (by the Canaanites worshipers of Baal, in the Books of Kings), Sirion (by the Sidonians-Phoeniciens) or Senir (by the Amorites).
The Mount Hermon was also revered by the Romans. The highest temple of the ancient world sits on the summit of the mount and is known today as Qasr Antar.
More than 30 shrines and temples have been found in this geographical area giving it its historical relevance. Beside the Christian and Islamic communities, it is also considered a sacred place for the Druze that occupies the most villages that surrounds the mountain.
At its foot rise the two major sources of the Jordan River. This sacred place with its natural and archaeological features must become an international pilgrimage destination.
Mount Hermon hike:
Hikers have been using to hike to the summit of Mount Hermon each year on August 6, the day of the transfiguration of Jesus, but since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, they stopped because of clashes that erupted from time to time on the Syrian side of the mountain.