Tannourine

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Tannourine
تنورين
City
Tannourine
Tannourine
Tannourine is located in Lebanon
Tannourine
Tannourine
Coordinates: 34°11′00″N 35°54′11″E / 34.18333°N 35.90306°E / 34.18333; 35.90306
Area
 • Total 92 km2 (36 sq mi)
Population (2015)
 • Total 16,000
Time zone Asia/Beirut (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) +3 (UTC)
Area code(s) +961 (06)

Tannourine (also Tannoureen, Tannorine, in Arabic تنورين) is a Lebanese municipality located in the Batroun District, part of the Mohafazah (Governorate) of North-Lebanon, 75 km from the capital Beirut. Tannourine’s name stems from the town's geography, which resemble the convex form of an oven called the tannoor. The "ine" is probably in proportion to the presence of 2 areas that make up this town, the Lower Tannourine and the upper Tannourine areas.

Etymology[edit]

Tannourine is the plural of the Syriac word Tannour. A Tannour is an old stone oven used in ancient times. The very first settlers established a number of Tannours in Tannourine-Al-Fawqa, and later settled down the valley in Tannourine-Al-Tahta, where a more fertile landscape allowed local agriculture to thrive.

Tannourine lies in a collection of valleys and ravines accessible either from Douma, Kfour Al Arbe, a backroad from Bsharri or from a newly constructed highway direct from Batroun.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Tannourine
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5
(41)
4
(39)
8
(46)
13
(55)
15
(59)
18
(64)
22
(72)
23
(73)
20
(68)
18
(64)
13
(55)
8
(46)
13.9
(56.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 2
(36)
0
(32)
4
(39)
8
(46)
11
(52)
15
(59)
18
(64)
19
(66)
16
(61)
14
(57)
9
(48)
4
(39)
10
(49.9)
Average low °C (°F) −1
(30)
−3
(27)
0
(32)
3
(37)
8
(46)
12
(54)
14
(57)
15
(59)
12
(54)
9
(48)
5
(41)
0
(32)
6.2
(43.1)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 163
(6.42)
128
(5.04)
82
(3.23)
29
(1.14)
7
(0.28)
1
(0.04)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.04)
32
(1.26)
104
(4.09)
151
(5.94)
698
(27.48)
Average rainy days 15 13 10 5 2 0 0 0 0 5 9 12 71
Source: chinci

[1]

Tannourine Cedar Reserve[edit]

The village also shares its name with a cedar forest of some 60,000 trees, making it the largest cedar reserve in Lebanon. The landscape overlooking the historic valley of Ain-Al-Raha is ideal for the culture of cedars, which grow in abundance. These cedars can be seen along the road that goes north to Hadath al-Jebbeh, which, although in poor condition, winds its way through wild and isolated scenery up to the Kadisha Valley gorge, leading to Bsharri.

Other companion trees like Cupressus, Pinus, Abies, Populus and others constitute a very rich ecosystem in planter species. The fauna described as being present in this type of unique ecosystem range from the various types of birds (eagles, owls, robins, etc...) to wild animals (hyenas, boars, squirrels, snakes and bats).

Villages and local attractions[edit]

The Village of Balaa (bordering Laqlouq) is known for its deep natural sink hole. A 300-meter walk brings you to a dizzying open cavern some 250 meters deep. Three natural bridges - of which the middle one is the most spectacular - complete the scene. In the spring, snow melt water forms the scenic 90m high Baatara gorge waterfall.

The Nahr-Al-Joze (the Joze being a species of trout that grows in the valley river) serpents through the valley and borders a number of Lebanese Restaurants, and creates a jungle-like ecosystem higher up towards the source. Likewise, the river has formed a number of natural pools of stagnant clear water that can be explored higher up towards the source.

Tannourine is well known for its ancient Maronite monasteries; specifically the convents of Saint Shallitah and Saint Antonios Houb, the latter being located in the village of Wata Houb.

Also, among the rocky outcrops of Tannourine-Al-Tahta is located an ancient 500-year-old Lebanese house, believed to be one of the earliest examples of Lebanese architecture. That same house was on the cover of a National Geographic report on Lebanon. Until late 2008, the occupant of the house was the oldest living man in Lebanon. Dubbed "Massoud", he was reputed to be 109 years old

Churches and Monasteries[edit]

In the late fifth century AD, Tannourine became a refuge for the Maronites fleeing from oppression and persecution. Some of the churches and monasteries include:

• Saint Chalitta Church: an archeological site from the Crusader period.

• Saint Sarkis Church: a Byzantine archaeological site. It had three markets and the vestibule was paved with mosaic. It was constructed near the new church.

Archaeological sites[edit]

Tannourine hosts a remarkably large number of monuments dating back to the Phoenician, Romanian and Greek eras.

In the valley of Tannourine-Al-Tahta lies a nearly-intact Roman aqueduct and a decrepit reservoir and Roman Cistern at its side. It is a testament that the fertility of that valley was being exploited since at least the 1st century AD

Higher up in the mountains, in the now abandoned village of Ain-Al-Raha, are found a number of 6th century and Crusader-era churches that many scholars believe to be one of the earliest known proofs of the presence of Christianity in the upper Levant. Indeed, according to the legend, Ain-Al-Raha (literally: source of relief) was during the 11th to 13th century a safe haven for defeated crusaders.

Also, above the previously mentioned old Lebanese house is an abandoned monastery sheltered in the hollow cave on the face of the mountain. It is believed that the 16th century remains were constructed in a way that it melded into the mountain to create a "camouflage" of sorts; and indeed unless you intend to search for it, you'd be hard-pressed to locate it immediately. Such caution was employed in order to thwart Ottoman army which wished to seize the Levant, which they eventually succeeded in doing.

In Wata Houb there are inscriptions on a rock dating back to the eighth century BC, the statues of a huge man between two smaller ones.

In St. Anthony’s monastery in Houb, the remains of a Phoenician temple are preserved. In 1936 the remains of a structure with an elaborate stone sculpture were found and a large font was used to save the blood of the victims. This is all in the middle of a paved opening with stone seats around. It was also found among the rubble, icons inscribed with the name of Alexander the Great and drawings of the god, Jupiter, carrying a lightning symbol in his right hand and a scepter in his left. The other read, "Iskandar, the King and the God and the compassionate father" in addition to the drawings of an eagle and the heads of a man and a woman with the words " the 2 Gods are brothers." There are also writings glorifying the Roman Emperor Hadrian and other writings cautioning from cutting certain types of trees; in addition to pools, restrooms, and forts built to protect convoys from nomadic invasions. In Tannourine, there is today a Roman wall which constructs the boundary between Tannourine and Aqoura.

The Romans also built an observatory called Aytamout observatory, which was overlooking the neighboring areas to address those who come to cut the trees. The Greek monuments included icons of the goddess Isis, the goddess and protector of navigation. She has two horns and she is carrying in her hand an Ankh with Greek letters of "Byblos"

History of the people of Tannourine[edit]

Numerous stories talk about the origin of the people of Tannourine but the common facts are in what follows in the paragraph below.

As shown by the geographical scope, Tannourine was inhabited since the Phoenician and Roman times. However, there is no conclusive evidence that it was a continuous presence or a discontinued one. Nor is there any evidence to prove whether this presence left an impact biologically and genetically on other people who came later to Tannourine. Based on the manuscript of Father Peter Matar, several families lived in Tannourine in the thirteenth century, before the Mamluks attack on Mount Lebanon. The most prominent of these families are Matar, Gush, Shimon, Harik and Sadka. . Between 1268 m and 1306 m stormed the Mamluks attacked Mount Lebanon in a "discipline" campaign in the region. Many of these families dispersed, some of which were killed, and others emigrated and some hid in the many caves in the area of Tannourine. The families that do not disappear from that stage are the Gush, Matar and Reidi, as many of their descendants are still in Tannourine region. Most of the families currently stationed in Tannourine are from Georges Abi Korkmaz the third, the actual grandfather for more than 60% of Tannourine people. Al Korkmaz main families are: Harb, Youness, Torbey, Dagher, Yaacoub and Daniel.

It is worth mentioning that these families have branched into several families and names which are too many to state all. For the true origins of the Korkmaz the first, there are many stories. Some historians consider him from Slavic ethnic origins, Albanians or Turkish, they call "Gotsar" and others think of him having Arab Baghdadi assets and they call him "Khattar". Khattar is in Arabic name which means the spear holder; Khattar name is common in the town, making it easier to accept the second theory. The Korkmaz in Turkish means "who is not afraid." Tannourine includes many other families who came from several Lebanese villages and towns, such as : Murad of Kafr Silwan, Al shaer, Komeir, Bou Abdo, Hashem, Karam, Hasrouni, Rashed, Makhlouf, Saayed , Faddoul, Bkassini, Akiki ans Abi Khalil.

Government and demographics[edit]

The newly constructed Tannourine Municipality building is located in Tannourine-Al-Fawqa, overlooking the town previously mentioned. A President of the Municipal Council is elected every 6 years along with a "list" of 18 cabinet members who are all subjected to a vote by the residents. It has relative administrative and financial independence but remains under the control, supervision and financing of the central government.

Altitude: 1500m

Distance from Beirut: 75 km

Area: Approximately 100 km2, including the cedars reserve.

Notable people[edit]

  • Georges Bou Abdo - International movie director
  • Boutros Harb - Member of the Parliament, Minister of Telecommunication and former Minister of Labor, Education, & Public Works


The Manuscript of Father Boutros Mattar in 1650

The Manuscript of Father Al Moadi in 1599

References[edit]

External links[edit]