ANFEH
(THE ANCIENT CITY)

A Fishing Village On A Historic Site On The Mediterranean Coast


ANFEH: Is a small fishing town on the Coast Of North Lebanon built around the ruins of several short-lived cities going back to the Pre-Phoenician Period.

It's located 65 km from Beirut, about 15 km before Tripoli. Natural dwelling caves abound on the surroundin
(
Hill Of Al-Gheer) ,the original city lies on a small Near-Island about half a kilometer into the sea. It's outstanding feature is that is the only town through-out the eastern coast of the Mediterranean to be carved out of it's rocky surroundings.

Is a place of great interest to those willing to do a little walking and investigating. This is the site of (AMPI) mentioned in 14 Century B.C. (Tell Al Amarina Letters) and the (NEPHIN) of the Crusader Period where a formidable Crusader castle once stood. A 100-Meter-Long moat with a rocky spur that supported the castle drawbridge cuts the peninsula into 2 sections. the Island section is covered with interesting rock-cut tombs, olive presses, salt pans and the remains of the Crusader castle it self.

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Anfeh harbors a number of Ancient Churches, the oldest of which contains remnants of it's original Byzantine frescoes, it's rather poetically called (Saydet - El - Reeh) or
(
Our Lady Of The Wind).

Three seaside Churches should be visited (Our Lady Of The Wind) is a tiny ruined structure with remains of Crusader Period wall paintings. one can see 2 mounted Saints George & Demetrios the figure of Christ in Majesty, 2 Evangelists, more Saints and large figure of the Virgin Calming The Stormy Sea.

(Sainte Catherine) is another lovely Crusader Period church still serving Anfeh's Greek Orthodox Community, next to it is the twin 17th - 18th century church of
(
Saint Simon) & (Saint Michael). Here you can see the Jars that were incorporated into the ceiling to absorb and reduce echoes.

Another ancient baptist Church is (Saint John), which is surrounded with some curious rock cuttings. Also in Anfeh is Lebanon's sole surviving romanesque Church which was built by the Crusaders.
The biggest church in Anfeh is
(St. George's Church).

Also in Anfeh is Lebanon's sole surviving Romanesque Church which was built by the Crusaders. Large numbers of Presses and Jars of i wide range of styles and origins, made of clay, have been found both inland and under water and continue to be discovered to this day. According to archeologists, they are evidence of Enfeh's once pre-eminent manufacturing and commercial position.

Well, preserved scenery and always Cristal-Water. At one end of the Creek, lies popular Beach (Taht - l - Reeh) or (Beneath The Wind) a choice location for divers and lovers of the Beaches. Anglers can often be seen on Sundays and Holidays; they are attracted to the large terraces sheltering under water species feeding on the sea weed and attracting large numbers of fish, making up a richly varied ecosystem.

The rare and colorful kingfisher, (Alcedo Atthis), can occasionally be sighted flying over the rocks feeding on fish. From the grass in the undergrowth, the women of Anfeh gather (The Sea Herb) with yellow flowers,
(Crythmum Maritimum), whose leaves pickled in vinegar provide a popular condiment.

The Salt Marshes: Along the length of the bay, the salt marshes add a typically picturesque note to the landscape, especially in places with the traditional wind wheel which pumps sea-water better than the noisy and polluting diesel engines! The production of Sea salt is a staple of the local economy. (White Gold) as it's called, provides for an inexhaustible natural resource which can thus be extracted without endangering the environment.

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Sea Fishing: Of Anfeh's 7,000 inhabitants, 300 practice fishing on a regular or seasonal basis. The main street (Fish Market) is abuzz with the comings and goings of customers choosing their from the village's five fishmongers.
The 77 Full-Time fisherman own their boats for whose maintenance they are responsible. One of them uses traditional skills for repairing the boats and acts as a carpentry, mechanics and paintwork factotum.

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Ras Al Natour: This cape lies opposite the Anfeh peninsula; it's seabed consists of underwater meadows of great biological wealth, making it's shore a much sought-after area for fishermen because of the great variety of fish to be found.
The convent of (
Our Lady of Al-Natour),built by the Crusaders on Byzantine ruins, stands on the cape, it's surrounded by large fields of the myrtle Myrtus Ugni, a nearly extinct plan on the Lebanese Coast.

Port Of Nuhaireh: The Port Of Nuhaireh Fishing boats have long sought shelter in this natural harbour in bad weather conditions. it's now equipped with quays and supplied with electricity.
With some 100 fishing boats currently pulling in, the harbour has become too narrow.
In order to accommodate more boats, it would be desirable to increase the size of the harbour and to make plans for additional facilities.

The Anfeh Creek: Lying between the port of Nuhaireh and the archeological peninsula,
the Creek consists of a lovely rocky shore shaped as a perfect semi-circle at whose bottom lie a number of sandy underwater caves. It has become a haven for walkers and swimmers who are drawn to its well preserved scenery and always crystal-clear water.

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Expert have recognized Anfeh's unique character and the need to preserve its
(Highly Appreciable Environment). The seabed, with its fluctuating luminosity, temperature and clarity, its currents and substrate at different levels, makes for a rich and varied marine life, particularly its fish species.
The creation of a reserve, far from threatening existing fishing activity would on the contrary guarantee their long-term source of income based on the protection of this ecosystem.

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