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Ras Baalbek

Ras Baalbek
رأس بعلبك
Our Lady of Ras Baalbek Convent
Our Lady of Ras Baalbek Convent
Ras Baalbek is located in Lebanon
Ras Baalbek
Ras Baalbek
Location in Lebanon
Coordinates: 34°15′35″N 36°25′25″E / 34.25972°N 36.42361°E / 34.25972; 36.42361
Country Lebanon
3,000 ft (1,000 m)
 • Total15,000

Ras Baalbek (Arabic: رأس بعلبك) is a village in the northern Beqaa Valley in Lebanon.


Ras Baalbek is 500 metres west of a Neolithic rock shelter called Ras Baalbek I.

To the east there are ruins that are alleged to be the remains of a Roman aqueduct. Inhabitants of the village have confirmed it was once called "Connaya," suggesting a link to the ancient settlement of Conna, mentioned in the work of Antonius.[1] Notable features include the monastery of "Our Lady of Ras Baalbek" (Deir Saidat ar-Ras) and two Byzantine churches. One church is in the centre of the village and the other lies by the Roman aqueduct.[1]

In 1838, Eli Smith noted Ras Baalbek's population as being predominantly Catholic Christian.[2]

In 2014, the war with ISIS in the nearby village of Arsal resulted in the residents of Ras Baalbek forming a militia to protect the village. The militias were allied to the Lebanese Armed Forces.[3] In September 2016 the Lebanese Army attacked Islamic State positions near Ras Baalbek.[4]


Around 15,000 people live in Ras Baalbek. The population is entirely Christian, mainly Greek Catholic,[5][6] having switched from Greek Orthodoxy in 1721.[7]

The village is fashion designer Zuhair Murad's hometown.


  1. ^ a b Michel M. Alouf (July 1999). History of Baalbek. Book Tree. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-1-58509-063-1. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  2. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, 2nd appendix, p. 144
  3. ^ ANNE BARNARD (1 Nov 2014). "Clashes on Syrian Border Split Lebanese Town". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  4. ^ News Desk. "Lebanese Army attacks ISIS near Syrian border". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  5. ^ Robert Boulanger (1966). The Middle East: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran. Hachette. p. 212.
  6. ^ Justin Salhani (24 Sep 2014). "Ras Baalbek's Christians take up arms". The Daily Star. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Our Lady of Ras Baalbek". Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.


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Ras Baalbek
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