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History of Batroun

Batroun Roman Archeology
Batroun Ruins
Batroun
Castle in batroun
history of batroun

History

The earliest texts mentioning Batroun are the Amana Letters (mid-2nd millennium B.C.), sent by the governors of the coastal Canaanite cities to the pharaohs of Egypt to ask for help in repelling Amorite intruders (nomad tribes originating from the middle-Euphratus region in the north). Batroun was subsequently destroyed by the Amorites and remained in ruins until the Tyrian re-colonization in the 9th century B.C.  In 7th century B.C. Batroun was among the cities conquered by the Assyrian army.

Batroun was also involved in the war between the successors of Alexander the Great in early 200 B.C. Taking advantage of the disruption and chaos that marked the end of the Seleucids (305 and 64 B.C.), the Itureans  (Arab tribes) spread their power over the region from Beqaa and transformed Batroun into a base for their raids against the coastal cities.

By 64-63 B.C., the Roman General Pompey took over the region, and took back Batroun from the Iturean princedom.

During the Roman period, Batroun used vinery symbols on its coinage to accredit the etymology of Botrys, its new Greco-Roman name. The currency of Batroun struck during the rule of severus (222-235  A.D.) shows that the city has a temple dedicated to a local goddess or Astarte. The construction of a small theatre was launched during the same period but was never completed .

On July 9th, 551 A.D., a violent earthquake struck and destroyed hundreds of Levantine cities, including Batroun. The city did not recover from this catastrophe, and disappeared completely from the historical records until the 12th century A.D.

On the eve of the crusades, Batroun was part of the Emirate of Banu Ammar, who ruled North Lebanon from the mid-11th century. Batroun was brought down by the Crusaders and became part of the County of Tripoli by 1110.

According to some texts, Batroun’s fortifications were very weak during this epoch; consequently, the houses were built close together, transforming the city into an easily defendable, compact “building block”.

A fort was erected in the center of the city, where some of its remains are still clearly visible today.

Batroun’s significance declined during the Mamluke period and remained so until the 19th century. The European travelers of the 17th –18th centuries describe it as “ruined and almost abandoned”.

By the mid-19th century, Batroun rose from its ashes due to the newly introduced silk industry. The major historic buildings we see today are the best testimony of this development.

Geographic location

Batroun is the southern gateway to the Northern Lebanon, it is located on the Mediterranean coast 50km north of Beirut and 30km south of Tripoli. The city sits in a triangular shaped plain crossed by the river Nahr el-Jawz. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the west, the hills of Mount Lebanon to the south and east, and the Ras ech-Chaqa’a plateau to the north.

Visitors can easily get to Batroun through its main entrance off the Beirut-Tripoli highway.
Another way to get to Batroun is via the old coastal road linking Beirut to Tripoli and passing
right through the city center. Batroun can also be reached through the caza roads located on the neighboring eastern mountains , these roads are known by “The Edde Road” and “The Jdabra Road”.

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