|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2008)|
|Governorate||Mount Lebanon Governorate|
|• Total||10.1 km2 (3.9 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||200 m (700 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|• Density||990/km2 (2,600/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Damour (Arabic: الدامور) is a Lebanese Christian town that is 24 km (15 mi) south of Beirut, part of Greater Beirut. The name of the town is derived from the name of the Phoenician god Damoros who symbolized immortality (ديمومة in Arabic).
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, which bears its name on a dune overlooking the Mediterranean. It is surrounded by plantations of bananas and vegetable crops. It has an area of 10.1 km2 (3.9 sq mi). The Beirut-Tyre Highway separates the plantations. Now dismantled, the track is a stopover.
Now, there exist 6 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, St Maroun under reconstruction and St Joseph. These 6 churches are all Maronite Churches. Before the Lebanese Civil War, Damour had another Catholic Church, Savior's Church.
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.
Emir Fakhreddine the Great had a great interest in Damour.
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.
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.
In 1941, Damour was the French administrative capital. 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.
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.
The Historical Bridge
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.
- Mar Thecla El Naame
- Mar Mikhael Al Damour
- Khiyam Al Damour
- Travels in Palestine and Syria, Volume 1, page 286 By George Robinson