Lebanese Maronite Villages
Aakoura: It is a Syriac word “En Qura”. The word “En” means Source of water, “Qura” means “Cold”.
Aakoura=the cold Source.
Amsheet: The name may have different Syriac origins:
-ayin shyit: the spring of the spikes.
-in msheeta: the spring of washing.
-am sheet: the tribe of "Seth"(the name of Adam's third son).
-emash: to dive.
Annaya: (1150m above sea level, 52 km from Beirut) The name may have different origins:
-bet annaya: the singer's house.
-anwaya: the hermit or the monk.
-anaya: the shepherd.
Today, Annaya is a famous village because Saint Sharbel lived there for 39 years (16 years in Saint Maron monastery and 23 years in Saint Peter and Paul hermitage).
Ayto: The name may have different origins:
-quayta (Syriac): the summer
-ayta (Syriac): the anger
-itti (Hebrew): the magician
Balluneh: The name may have different Syriac origins:
-ballani/ballana: the bathroom
-Appolon: the name a Greek god
-abbiluné:the residence of the monk
Batroun: It was called “Le Boutron” by the Crusades, “Botrys” by the Greek. Batroun is a Phoenician
name “Bet Truna” which means “the place of the president/boss”.
Beereh: The name may have two Syriac origins:
-biré: the wells.
-birta: the palace and the castle.
Beiteddine: 850 m above sea level, 45 km from Beirut. The name's origin is "Btaddin" which means
the place of judicature and government or the residence of the judge and the governor.
Beiteddine is a famous historic town known for its palace complex (built by Emir Beshir Shehab II in 1812 AC).
Beshwet: This village is located in the Bekaa Valley. It is a small Maronite village. Beshwet is an Aramaic name: Beshwet = Bet Shweeto or Showyoto, which means “the level plain”.
Bijjeh: 550 m above sea level, 54 km from Beirut. The name may have different origins:
-bagge (Syriac name): the gardens
-pagge (Syriac name): the green fig or the sycamore
-pagge (Aramaic name): unripe grapes.
In Horan, in Syria, there is a town called Bijjeh. There is a possibility that some Christian immigrants had immigrated from Horan to Lebanon and called their location by the name of their ex-town.
Bisreh: The name may have different origins:
-besré (Syriac): the meat or the cadaver
-bisra (Syriac): the unripe grapes
-bet sri (Syriac): the bad smelling place
-bet saray (Syriac): the house of Sara
-bisra (Hebrew): the strengthened place
-bet sres (Hebrew): the temple of a god called Sres.
Bkerke: (200 m above sea level, 20 km from Beirut). The name may have two meanings:
-Bet kerke: a place to preserve books and registers.
-Bet karke: a fenced and fortified place.
Since 1790, the monastery of “Lady of Bkerke” has been the winter residence of the Maronite Patriarch. It contains very precious documents as for their ancientness and variety.
Broummana: (750 m above sea level, 20 km from Beirut).
The name may have a Syriac origin “bet rammana” which means the residence of the common sublime god “Rimmon”. Broummana is known for the huge monastery of “Mar Chaaya” built in 1700 AC where two Maronite monks disappeared when the Syrian army invaded Metn in October 13, 1990.
Bsharre: (1450 m above sea level, 126 km from Beirut). The name may have different meanings:
-The beginner's house
-The humid place
-The place fixed on the holy mountain.
The cedars forest forms the heart of Bsharre which is best known as the birth place of the famous painter and poet Gibran Khalil Gibran.
Deir Durit: The name may have a syriac origin "dayra d dayrayata" which means the nun's convent.
Deir El Kamar: (850 m above sea level, 40 km from Beirut). Deir El Kamar is an Arabic name which means “the monastery of the moon”. Anis Freiha mentioned in his book “Dictionary of the names of towns and villages in Lebanon” that the second part of the name “Kamar”
is the Arabic translation of the Syriac word “Sina” (moon). (SIN was the sublime common god: “MOON”). Deir El Kamar is a scenic town with many historical buildings and traditional stone houses with their red roofs. It was the residence of the Lebanese governors until the end of the eighteenth century.
Dimane: (1396 m above sea level, 100 km from Beirut). The name may have different Syriac origins:
-dumyanaya: the ideal
-dumyana: the example
-tayman: the south
The convent of “Lady of Dimane” overlooking the holy Qadisha valley is the summer residence for the Maronite patriarch.
Faraya: 2300 m above sea level, 51 km from Beirut. The name means fruit and vegetables. Faraya is a touristic town immersed in natural beauty with the mountains surrounding it.
Faytroun: The name may have different Syriac origins:
- pe trunos: the beautiful throne
- truna: the master
- patruna: the patron.
Feghal: The name may have different Syriac origins:
- pegal: the thickness and the softness
- pe ala: the work
- piggul: the garbage
Jeita: It is an Aramaic word “Ge’itta” that means “noise”, “roar”.
Jezzine: It is an Aramaic word “gazzeen” that means “warehouses”.
Jounieh: It is an Aramaic word “Gounieh” that means “corners”.
Jrabta: 550 m above sea level, 72 km from Beirut.
The name may have different Syriac origins:
-grabta: the vessel
-grafta: the scooped
-krupte: the caves
In Jrabta. Saint Joseph monastery contains the tomb of the Maronite Saint Rafqa.
Hasroon: 1380 m above sea level, 105 km from Beirut). An ancient Phoenician name which means
"fenced". Today, Hasroon is called "the rose of the mountain" because of its red-tile roofs.
Ijdabra: This village name is a phoenician name (Gado Rabo= the great luck). Gad was a Phoenician god, the god of luck. This village is located in North Lebanon, Batroun region.
Ish-shbaniyi: The name may have two Syriac origins:
- shebabanaye: neighboors
- sheba: the robber
400 m above sea level, 64 km from Beirut. The name has a Syriac origin “kfifuna” which means the small
convex place. The monastery of saint Cyprien and Justinian in Kfifane contains the tomb of the Maronite Saint Nematallah Al-Hardini
It is a Syriac name which means water and water.
Miefouk: 860 m above sea level, 64 km from Beirut. The name may have two syriac origins:
-Mappuqa: the spring.
-May fawqa: the upper water.
According to the Maronite history, the church of "Lady of Elige" in Meifouk was for a time the seat of the Maronite patriarchate.
Mayruba: (1300 m above sea level, 38 km from Beirut) The name means much water or purl water.
Mayruba is known by the town of apple trees for the wide cultivation of apple trees and the elevated statue of the Virgin Mary who holds in her hand an apple fruit.
Niha is a Syriac name which means the calm and the patient.
Quannubin: The name may have two origins:
- qennubin (Syriac): monastery of the novice monk
- koinobion (Greek): the place of asceticism.
Qartaba: (1250 m above sea level, 60km from Beirut) The name means :
-The spines and the thistles.
-The village of the father.
-The village of the virtuous man.
Qartaba is surrounded by a rich archeological region exhibiting some well maintained ruins.
Rmaysh: The name may have different Syriac origins:
-ramshaya: relative to night (ramsha=night)
-remis: quiet, calm
-ram ishay: the hill of Yassa
Sin-il-fil: The name may have a Syriac origin:
- SHEN D FILA which means the ivory
Tannourine: (1400 m above sea level, 75 km from Beirut)
Tannourine is an old plural of the Syriac Aramic name "Tannourah" which may have two origins:
-"Tannour": furnace.("Tan": smoke and "nour":fire and light)
-"betannourah": the place of fire.
Tannourine includes two towns: -Tannourine Et-tahta: the lower Tannourine.
-Tannourine El-fawqa: the upper Tannourine.