The Omayyad City of Anjar:

The town Anjar takes its name from the Arabic term "Ayn Al-Jaar," or "water from the rock," and is known for the streams that flow from the nearby mountains. It is a unique city in several ways. Anjar is the only set of Omayyad ruins in Lebanon, and there were no artifacts at Anjaar of the many other societies that inhabited the Bekka Valley before them. The city was built  by the Caliph Malik as a trading city, at the intersection of the north-south and east-west trade routes. It is the only non-coastal trading city in the country, and it flourished for only 20-30 years before the Abbasids overran the city and it fell into disuse. While built from scratch by the Omayaads, it used classic Roman design, a square walled city with four towers and gates. Anjaar is bisected horizontally and vertically by two main streets, the Cardo Maximus and the Documanus Maximus. At its peak, it housed more than 600 shops, Roman-style baths, two palaces and a mosque. Below is a VR panorama of Anjaar that contains links to the architecturally significant aspects of the ruins. A more detailed explanation of the ruins can be found beneath the panorama.

Virtual Tour of Anjar Omyaad Ruins

The Baths at AnjarSnap Content
Virtual Reality Tour for VR Headsets:

QR CodeThere is also a version of this tour designed specifically for VR headsets such as Google Cardboard, and it works with both iPhone and Android devices. It may be accessed by scanning on the QR code to the left. If you are viewing this on a mobile phone, you may access the VR tour by following this link.

For iOS devices
: scan QR code with your device's camera app, tap on the prompt to open Safari. Select "Allow Device Motion" and the next prompt, "Allow Access to Motion Orientation." Turn the device to landscape mode and a split screen will appear. When the screen turns white, swipe up for fullscreen mode, and place in headset. Here is a video of how to do this--it is simpler than it sounds! [The video opens in a new window--close when done to return to this page]

For Android devices: Open the camera app and use the built-in scanner to scan the QR code above. Confirm that you want to open the website, and wait for it to load--it should load in stereo view. Select the fullscreen ("X" option) from the menu at the bottom. Turn the device to landscape mode and you are ready to go. Here is a video of how to do this--it is simpler than it sounds! [The video opens in a new window--close when done to return to this page]

Here is an (earlier) text-based review of the same tour:

Our virtual tour of Anjar begins at the north gate, the entrance to the ruins. Walking down the Cardo Maximus, the arcade that served as the entrance to the baths is to your left, while on the right are the ruins of building sand storehouses that served the palace. Continuing down the Cardo Maximus about 200 meters, you reach the center of the city, the crossroads where the Cardo Maximus intersects the Documanus Maximus. To the left is the "Small Palace," essentially a harem where the Caliph's wives lived.  The Documanus Maximus (which runs left and right from this center point) was the commercial heart of the city, containing more than 600 individual shops.  If you continue north on the Cardo Maximus, to the left are the famous arcades of the Omayyad Palace, the best preserved of the Anjar ruins, and a signature image of this spot. To the left of the Cardo Maximus are the city's residential quarters. The panorama then sweeps northward. Just to the left of the cross-roads is a Roman-style tetrapylon (one of the pillars is missing) which (along with the palace arcade) has come to symbolize Anjar in the same manner as the columns of Jupiter symbolize Baalbeck. In the far end of this north west quadrant (bringing you back to the north gate entrance) are the baths.

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