Antelias


Antelias

Infobox City Lebanon
official_name = Antelias
native_name = أنطلياس
governorate = Mount Lebanon Governorate
district = Matn District
lat_deg = 33
lat_min = 55
lat_sec = 0
lat_hem = N
lon_deg = 35
lon_min = 36
lon_sec = 0
lon_hem = E
mapx = 33.916667
mapy = 35.6

Antelias ( _ar. أنطلياس) is a town in Lebanon. It is located around 5 km to the north of Beirut. Its inhabitants are mainly Christians and include Maronites, Greek Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Armenians (mostly Orthodox). Antelias is the seat of the Armenian Catholicos of Cilicia and includes other important religious buildings such as the St-Elie Maronite convent with its two churches and the St. Mikhael Greek Orthodox church.

Etymology

The name is originally Greek, ἀντήλιος -- from ἀντί(anti) "contra" and ἥλιος (helios) "sun" --, meaning "facing the sun".

Geography

Geographically, Antelias is composed of a coastal fertile plain and a hilly region more to the east. There is also a narrower plain on the sides of the Antelias river, which originates from a nearby source (Fawar) and runs east west to discharge in the Mediterranean Sea.

Until the early nineties of the last century, the coastal plain of Antelias mostly consisted of open areas planted with orange and banana trees. Very few houses could be seen in the coastal plain. The strips along the Antelias river also used to be planted with orange trees.

Due to the vast urbanization since the second half of the last century, most green areas have been removed and replaced by residential and commercial buildings, thus creating a serious environmental impact on the area. Very few if any such green areas still exist.

trategic Position

Antelias is considered the gate to the upper Matn regions. The Matn is one of the most prosperous regions of Lebanon, including a number of factories, commercial malls and important schools.

Antelias is situated between Beirut and the city of Jounieh and its coastal highway witnesses a daily rush of traffic. As previously stated, Antelias is the gateway to Bikfaya, Dhour el Chweir, Baskinta and Aintoura, all renowned summer resorts and the Antelias-Bikfaya road is well known to play that linkage role.

Commercial Interest

Antelias contains the St-Elie Center in addition the Spinney's Supermarket and ABC Mall.In addition to one of the largest Armenian orthodox cathedrals in the middle east and the beautiful architecture of the well known St. Elie church, Antelias is also famous for its pharmacies and among the oldest are pharmacie Batrouni, pharmacie Chaker and pharmacie Antelias. Moreover it is home for Eid Travel a leading travel agency in the region. It is also known for its banks: The street linking Antelias to the main coastal highway, is alone home to 5 banks.

Touristic Interest

Antelias is the home to a large Marina and beach front that attracts people from neighbouring and even distant localities. Garden Tower was the first hotel built in Antelias area, in the immediate vicinity of the Catholicosate of Cilicia.

Cultural Interest

Antelias features an annual event of Book Fair sponsored by the Antelias Cultural Movement.

The Cultural Movement by itself is an organization headquartered in Antelias and it holds periodic events such as political discussions, book reviews, theatrical plays and the like.

Antelias is also the home of the Rahbani Brothers who have given so much to the World Music Heritage. Fairouz is a worldwide icon in this sense and is currently living in Antelias, the city that has inspired the Rahbanis for so many years.

Archaeological Interest

Antelias is home to the site of Ksar Akil where the region's oldest remains of a human being have been found: 30,000 years old man near the caves of Ksar Akil.

Those caves are also well coveted by known speleologists who have explored their passage ways.

Antelias is also the site of the St-Elie Church, built in 1895.

Historical Interest

Antelias (The St Elie Convent in particular) was the venue for the signature of a historical treaty (In Arabic: Ammiyat Antelias) between several communities in Lebanon to unite against the oppression of the Ottoman occupation and their allies in the late 19th century, precisely in 1840. The Christian and Druze communities were the main parties in that treaty. It was unfortunate that this treaty did not prevent a fierce war between the two communities in the aftermath of the Israeli partial withdrawal from Lebanon in 1982.


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