Ras Baalbek

Ras Baalbek (Arabic: رأس بعلبك‎) is a village in the northern Beqaa Valley in Lebanon.

Ras Baalbek

رأس بعلبك
Ras Baalbek is located in Lebanon
Ras Baalbek
Ras Baalbek
Location in Lebanon
Coordinates: 34°15′35″N 36°25′25″E / 34.25972°N 36.42361°E / 34.25972; 36.42361Coordinates: 34°15′35″N 36°25′25″E / 34.25972°N 36.42361°E / 34.25972; 36.42361
Country Lebanon
3,000 ft (1,000 m)
 • Total2,000


Ras Baalbek is 500 metres west of a Neolithic rock shelter called Ras Baalbek I.

To the east there are ruins that are alleged to be the remains of a Roman aqueduct. Inhabitants of the village have confirmed it was once called "Connaya," suggesting a link to the ancient settlement of Conna, mentioned in the work of Antonius.[1] Notable features include the monastery of "Our Lady of Ras Baalbek" (Deir Saidat ar-Ras) and two Byzantine churches. One church is in the centre of the village and the other lies by the Roman aqueduct.[1]

In 1838, Eli Smith noted Ras Baalbek's population as being predominantly Catholic Christian.[2]

In 2014, the war with ISIS in the nearby village of Arsal resulted in the residents of Ras Baalbek forming a militia to protect the village. The militias were allied to the Lebanese Armed Forces.[3] In September 2016 the Lebanese Army attacked Islamic State positions near Ras Baalbek.[4]


Around 15,000 people live in Ras Baalbek. The population is entirely Christian, mainly Greek Catholic,[5][6] having switched from Orthodox Christianity in 1721.[7]

The village is fashion designer Zuhair Murad's hometown.


  1. ^ a b Michel M. Alouf (July 1999). History of Baalbek. Book Tree. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-1-58509-063-1. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  2. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, 2nd appendix, p. 144
  3. ^ ANNE BARNARD (1 Nov 2014). "Clashes on Syrian Border Split Lebanese Town". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  4. ^ News Desk. "Lebanese Army attacks ISIS near Syrian border". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  5. ^ Robert Boulanger (1966). The Middle East: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran. Hachette. p. 212.
  6. ^ Justin Salhani (24 Sep 2014). "Ras Baalbek's Christians take up arms". The Daily Star. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Our Lady of Ras Baalbek". Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.


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