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The mysterious Tower of Claudius in Faqra, Lebanon.

2 min read

This curious ruins of a monumental tower in the heart of Lebanese mountains, on the main road leading to the town and ski resort of Faraya, still today makes crazy the archeologists.
In the same road there are also a myriad of other small archeological sites, but archaeologists aren’t certain about the original purposes of this temple on Mount Lebanon. The ruins of the stone structure (one of four altars in the surrounding area) were once part of either a tower? A tomb? Or a temple?

The building now is partially collapsed, stands on the western side of the Mount Lebanon, on a summit called Faqra and is presented as a cube approximately 16-by-16-meters, just over 10 meters tall. But considering its wide base, and the number of stones employed, it was likely much taller when it was built in 43 AD. A staircase and pieces of pillars and pedestals are an evidence that confirm the place once had a second story, now long gone and buried in the grave.

Only the remains of two inscriptions above and to the right of the door are still visible, and dedicate the altar to the Roman Emperor Claudius and the god Beelgalasos. Translated from Greek, scholars read:

“Αὐτοκράτορι Τιβερίωι Κλαυδίωι Καίσαρι
Σεβαστῶι και θ[εῶι] πατ[ρώι Βε]ελγαλασωι
ἐπὶ Γαίου Κα…”
“In 355 (43 AD, Ed.) Tholos, son of Rabbomus, the president, at the great god’s expenses he built this”


“ENT ἐπὶ Θολου
Ραββομου ἐπιμε-
λητοῦ ἐκ τῶν τοῦ
μεγίστου θεοῦ ώκοδο-
“To the emperor Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus and the ancestral god Beelgalasos, under Gaius Cassius.”

The whole site is entirely open to public and visitors can roam in and around the ruin and the three smaller altars that surround it.

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