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Yanouh, situated at an altitude of 1200m above sea level, has witnessed the ancient development of the settlement in the upper valley of Nahr Ibrahim and the mountains above Byblos.

yanouh temple

yanouh temple

The site runs behind a wooded hill which contains remains of ancient  occupation, mainly ancient Bronze III( 2700-2400) and Iron II( 918-539bc). The first visible building dates back to the second century BC and the last one to the 12th and 13th century AD.

Between those fifteen centuries, the site was permanently occupied. In the Middle ages, Yanouh was more known to be the ancient Maronite Patriarchate since at least the 11th century AD.

yanouh temple

yanouh temple

 

The main edifices bears witness to a long standing religious history during the Hellenistic period by the end of the 2nd century B.C  a sacred building consisting of a paved platform elevated with stairs was built in the southern side of the site. During the second century  a small roman temple flanked it to form together the southern sanctuary and at the same period the northern sanctuary with its big temple was erected.

yanouh temple

 

yanouh temple

During the Byzantine period, by the end of the 5th century a Christian Basilica with columns was constructed  to the south. By the 7th and the 8th century, it was succeeded by a Basilica with pillars that was transformed on several occasions.

During the 12th century , three churches occupied the site: the Basilica with pillars, the big Roman Temple converted into a church and a newly built Chapel situated at the northern side. Many other chapels were built in the neighborhood. The two roman temples were built of blue limestone blocks from which the name “Saint Georges the Blue” was given to the big temple turned into a church. The other temples were built of reddish sandstone.