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The typological classification of the old Lebanese churches in koura, Batroun and Byblos, from the 8th century to the 13th century

The influence of the ecclesiastical architecture was very obvious on the community; it was used for proselytizing purposes and to express the greatness of the church. The church became a link between believers and heaven and a small-scale representation of the universe, where the kingdom of God extends. For example, the ceiling of churches, especially the domes, symbolizes heaven, which is the throne of God. An indispensable analysis was carried out to understand the typology of churches, based on the plan and spatial composition, therefore to make them easily recognizable. This paper primarily aims to define the typological classification of the historic Lebanese churches, to monitor the different characteristics and to develop a wider understanding of these architectural features. This study relates to ecclesiastical temples from the 8th century to the 13th century in Koura, Batroun and Byblos. Most of the historic churches and monasteries of Lebanon are located in the north of Lebanon, especially in the areas of Koura, Batroun and Byblos (Jbeil), where the majority of Christian communities still reside until now. Unfortunately, there are no remaining churches before the 8th century, especially after the great earthquake that struck Lebanon in 551 AD. The Crusader period takes place from the end of the eleventh century to the end of the thirteenth century (between 1095 and 1291 AD). In the 13th century, the Fourth Crusade left behind a series of important churches that had a great impact on the architecture of Lebanon. In total, 128 temples were studied in my article; later, I will identify them and represent their typology in six tables.

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