The historic ruins of Faqra lie 1,600 meters above sea level, towering over a deep valley where the waters of Nabaa al-Aasal and Nabaa al-Laban flow. The site is distinguished for its fascinating natural beauty made entirely out of dolomite rocks, creating a natural forest of rocks.
In his book, A Mission to Phoenicia, Ernest Renan named the site the most charming on the mountain.
Historical accounts vary when it comes to the origins of Faqra. Some trace it back to the age of King Solomon; others claim it predates Ptolemy. Greek inscriptions found in the Atargatis Temple suggest it was built in 49 BC, but there are no written or material records that attest to this estimation.
A mammoth, two-story square tower stands watch over Faqra. Judging by its location and architectural design, experts believe it served as a watchtower or treasury where precious items were stored. A stairway made of 18 flights of steps leads to its main entrance, the remains of which are visible on-site today.
Around the temple of Atargatis, you’ll find tombs embedded within the rocks and burial vaults with more than one cell. Each tomb is crowned with a Byzantine stone cross.
The site opens daily except on Tuesdays from 9 AM till sunset.
Your journey through Faqra wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of nature's most spectacular wonders: a bridge called Jisr al-Hajar (Stone Bridge) with its 35-meter stone vault, beneath which flow the waters of Nahr al-Laban.
Faqra is also world-famous for its private ski resort, with 2,000,000 square-meters of fresh powdered snow in winter; perfect for skiing and snowboarding on cliffs that overlook Beirut and the Jounieh Bay.