Anjar_Grand-Palace_3D
Anjar_Grand-Palace_3D
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Anjar_Palace-of-Anjar_3D
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Anjar_Palace-of-Anjar_3D
The cardo in Anjar
The cardo in Anjar
The cardo in Anjar
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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Windows in Anjar
Windows in Anjar
Windows in Anjar
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Anjar_The-Public-Baths1_3D
Anjar_The-Public-Baths1_3D
Anjar_The-Tetrapylon_3D
Anjar_The-Tetrapylon_3D
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Anjar_The-Tetrapylon7_3D
Slide 97
Slide 97
Slide 97

 

Anjar was founded by Caliph Walid ibn ‘Abd al-Malak around AD 705-715 as a palace city and is the only Umayyad site in the Lebanon. Although the site was occupied by the Greeks, Romans and early Christians, it was not until the Umayyad civilization that the city really flourished. Located 58 km from Beirut, the city enjoys a privileged position: it sits in an agriculturally rich area and at the crossroad of several routes, such as that linking Beirut to Damascus, and that crossing the Bekaa Valley. Such a position made Anjar one of the main inland commercial centres of the region.

Though Anjar prospered for 20 or 30 years during the reign of Caliph Walid ibn ‘Abd al-Malak, the Umayyad dynasty was, at that time, in decline, and in 744 Ibrahim, the son of the Caliph Walid ibn ‘Abd al-Malak was defeated by the Abbasids. The invaders raided the city and the resulting devastation led to its abandonment: the city was never finished.

Despite its short history, Anjar managed to become one of the main historic commercial centres in inland Lebanon and at its peak there were over 600 market arcades in the city. Anjar was fortified by a rectangular surrounding wall of ¬†around 385×350 meters with forty towers and gates flanked by porticos. The interior layout was quadrilateral in style and many buildings were designed in the Roman tradition. The city was divided by a north-south axis and an east-west axis into four quadrants and public and private buildings were organized according to a well-thought-out plan. For example, the great palace and the main mosque were in the south-eastern quarter, while baths and the smaller palaces or harems were in the north-eastern quarter. Of the great palace, three levels of colonnades have been preserved. The private buildings were also carefully laid out in the north and south-western quarters; these two quadrants also housed the craft areas.

The urban plan of Anjar corresponds to an evolution from proto-Byzantine models towards early Islamic art, which makes the city a unique vestige of early Islamic 8th century AD town planning.

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