Damour

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Damour
الدامور
City
Map showing the location of Damour within Lebanon
Map showing the location of Damour within Lebanon
Damour
Location within Lebanon
Coordinates: 33°44′N 35°27′E / 33.733°N 35.450°E / 33.733; 35.450Coordinates: 33°44′N 35°27′E / 33.733°N 35.450°E / 33.733; 35.450
Country  Lebanon
Governorate Mount Lebanon Governorate
District Chouf District
Area
 • Total 10.1 km2 (3.9 sq mi)
Highest elevation 200 m (700 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Dialing code +961
Website http://www.damour-lb.com/

Damour (Arabic: الدامور‎) is a Lebanese Christian town that is 24 kilometres south of Beirut. The name of the town is derived from the name of the Phoenician god Damoros who symbolized immortality (ديمومة in arabic).

In 2009, Damour was selected as the future site of the first artificial island off the coast of Lebanon. The project is set to start construction later this year.[1]

Beirut-based developer, Noor Investment Holding has presented a detailed explanation of the Cedar Island project to the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) and is waiting for approval.[2]

Geography[edit]

The city is located in one of the few flat areas of the Lebanese coast. It is built to the north of the river, the ancient Tamyrus,[3] which bears its name on a dune overlooking the Mediterranean. It is surrounded by plantations of bananas and vegetable crops.[4] It has an area of 10.1 km². The Beirut-Tyre Highway separates the plantations. Now dismantled, the track is a stopover.

Churches[edit]

There exist 5 churches in Damour, of which Notre-Dame de Damour and St Élias are the biggest. We also find three other chapels, including Sainte Thècle, St Michel, which was the first church in Damour and St Maroun under reconstruction.

Tourism[edit]

Because Damour is one of the few cities of the Lebanese coast having a sand beach, and since it is ten minutes from Beirut, Damour attracts tourists and especially water sports enthusiasts. Thus several restaurants, coffees and snacks are located along the beach. There are also a few restaurants at the edges of the Damour River.

History[edit]

Emir Fakhreddine the Great had a great interest in Damour.

Commemorative plate for the seizure of Damour by the Australians in 1941, installed in Nahr al-Kalb to the north of Beirut.

It was the capital of the Mount Lebanon between the 17th century and 20th century.

In the 19th century, Damour was the a flourishing center of the Chouf region. Its plain was then planted with mulberry and had twelve large manufacturing companies. Ten thousand workers and technicians worked in the natural silk industry. The city has a real fascination for the Lebanese worker and attracts the largest majority of the natives in the Sahel region.

During the last centuries, Damour was located on the central axis of fighting and successive wars.

In 1302, after the mamelouks took Arwad Island, on 8 June the same year, the Cypriots landed on the Damour River. A battle took place between the Emir Fakhr al - Din Abdel - Hamid bin Jamaluddin Altnokhi, his brother the Emir Shams al - Din Abdullah accompanied by an army of Muslims against the Cypriot. The battle was won by Crusaders. Fakhr Din Emir was killed, while his brother Shams al - Din fell hostage. He was released after five days for a ransom of three thousand dinars tyriens.

In May 1860, Druze forces committed a massacre of the people.

During the nights of the first world war, inhabitants met the armoured French cruiser Jeanne d'Arc sailors and received medicines, food and other needed supplies.

The city being a strategic crossing point on the road to Beirut, 21 July 1941, was the place of one of the battles that affected Lebanon during the second world war Syria-Lebanon Campaign. Australian troops, progressing towards the North along the coast, took Damour, held by the French Foreign Legion, faithful to the Vichy Government. A cease-fire was concluded at the end of the battle. There were no more obstacles in the direction of Beirut.

In 1942, the New Zealand troops built a track from Beirut to Haifa on the coast.

On January 9, 1976, Palestinians laid siege to the city. On January 20, 1976, thousands of Palestinians committed a massacre of the inhabitants. See Damour Massacre.

During Israeli invasion of 1982, the Israeli air force bombed the city which was under the control of the Palestinian militias.

During the Israeli conflict of 2006, the Israeli air force destroyed several bridges on Highway Beirut-Tyre and on the Damour River.

The Historical Bridge of Damour[edit]

The history of the archeological bridge dates back to the era of prince-Béchir Shehab who had a great interest in it, it was considered a strategic and important transit point between Mt Lebanon and the South.

Neighbourhoods belonging to the municipality of Damour[edit]

  • Mar Thecla El Naame
  • Mar Mikhael Al Damour
  • Khiyam Al Damour
  • Saadiyat
  • Ghandouriyeh
  • Missiar

Famous Natives[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ # Cedar Island Lebanon
  2. ^ # Lebanon's Cedar Island - Fast facts
  3. ^ Travels in Palestine and Syria, Volume 1, page 286 By George Robinson
  4. ^ [1]

Robert Fisk in his book ¡°Pity the Nation