• Photographs from Batroun
    1997-1999, Børre Ludvigsen

    Batroun, on the coast south of Tripoli, was known as "Batruna" in the famous Tell al-Amarna letters of the 14th century B.C., although its history goes back even further. The town was called "Borrys" in Greco-Roman times and during the Crusader era it was a seigniory dependent on the County of Tripoli.

    Batroun's fishing port, undoubtedly of great antiquity, still supplies local markets with fresh fish. Along the sea front starting from the north end of town you will find the century-old Maronite cathedral of St. Stephan (Mar Stefan), the beautiful 19th century Greek Orthodox Church of St. George and the tiny chapel known as ``Sadiyat al-Bahr," or Our Lady of the Sea. This simple white-washed building has a wide verandah overlooking the sea and an excellent view of Batroun's sea wall, which is what remains of a huge quarry famous in Hellenistic and Roman times.

    Near the roadside just above the town is the ancient church of Mar Nohra built into the rock. From the wooden door fashioned from tree slabs to the yard shaded with a large Mediterranean oak, this is a charming spot.