Hamat

A coastal town situated on “Ras Ash-Shaka’a”, only 5 km from Batroun City. it stretches from the seashore to an altitude of 250 m. it can be reached from Batroun via Koubba and Selaata; or Via “Msaïlaha” Path and the highway tunnel. In mid-town stands the parish church “Niyah Lady” (Saydet An-Niyah) that dates back to 1152. It was restored and expanded in 1890. “St-Elias” church overlooks the “Al-Jawz” River valley and Batroun City. it was refurbished on the rubble of a pagan temple in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. as for St-George’s Church (Mar Gerges), it was teconstructed between 1841 and 1870 on the debris of St-Dimitrius Monastery, one wall of which is still standing with colored paitings of Christ and Virgin Mary. further, one can find St-Simon’s Church (Mar Semaan) built on the western peak of Ras Ash-Shaka,a”, and St-John’s (Mar Youhanna) in a place known as “Hannoush”. The latter dates back to the Byzantine era. There is also St-Domèce,s church (Mar Doumit) at “Hannoush” and inside it one can find an artistic painting of the saint by priest Kan’aan Dib Ad-Dlebtani. In addition, there is the “Lady Npuriyyeh” Convent (Saydet An-Nouriyyeh) built in 1880 on the northern part of the “Ras Ash-Shaka’a” Mount, whereas the original convent, and of which only a church carved in the rock remains (St-Michael’s = Mar Mikhayel). It dates back to the fourth century. There is also the “Msaïlaha” Fortress on the northern bank of the “Al-Jawz” River. It can be seen from Beirut-Tripoli highway. it was built on a high rock and the dispute over its construction dates had not been settled yet. At “Hannoush” (old Gigharta), the wells, sarcophagi and rocky press-houses lost all traces in the earthquake in 551 A.D. in the place known as “Bwab Al  Hawa” there is a historic memorial from 1941, erected by the British Forces in commemoration of making a road to the town in 100 days, in order to connect it with the coastal road. The miraculous “Lady Nouriyyeh” (Saydet An-Nouriyyeh) is considered a pole of attraction to pilgrims and believers from all sects and religions, within Lebanon or from beighboring countries. People celebrate her day on 15th every summer. From “Nouriyyeh” convent there is a superb view on the town of Heri, its bay and sandy beaches going as far as Anfeh and Tripoli. The “Ras Ash-Shaka’a” Mount, covered with oak trees, forms a distinguished green oasis in Batroun District and affords spaces for picnics. Besides,there is an equipped camping place in the “Al Bakaa’ Valley”. Hamat has a Hotel with a restaurant on the way to “Nouriyyeh” Convent and it has public beaches at “Hannoush”. Its beaches are rocky. and at the bottom of “Ras Ash-Shaka’a”, from the side of Heri, there is a seaside resort and a private beach with two restaurants for seafood; one can enjoy several water sports there.

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