Faqra Natural Bridge

Jisr el Hajar - Kfardebian Bridge


Useful Information

Location: Faqra, Kfardebian district.
Beirut towards Byblos, exit Ajaltoun, towards Faraya, Faqra. 50km/1 h drive. Coming from Faraya its before Faqra, turn right on gravekl road 280 m after the roundabout.
Open: no restrictions.
[2020]
Fee: free.
[2020]
Classification: KarstNatural Bsridge.
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=23 m, W=38 m, H=21 m, T=9 m, A=1,620 m asl.
Guided tours: n/a
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
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As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History


Description

The Faqra Natural Bridge is 38 m long and during snow melt a river flows through the bridge. It is also called Kfardebian Natural Bridge, because it is located in Kfardebian district. But actually its name is Jisr el Hajar, which seems to be almost unknown. The bridge is of quite exceptional size, as the arch is 38 m wide, 21 m high, and 23 m long. It is covered by a 9 m thick layer of Jurassic limestone. When the river Nahr el Laban flows through the cave it drops right after the bridge over a clif faces and flows down a ravine.

Faqra is located in the Lebanon mountains some 1,620 m asl, on the northwest slopes of Mount Sannine (2,548 m asl). It is one of the highest town in Lebanon. This area is a popular skiing area with huge amounts of snow during winter. As a result there are decent amounts of melting water. Nevertheless you should probably avoid the months of January and February, because you can not see the cave and the other rock formations when they are covered by 2 m of snow.

The town Faqra is famous for a multitude of rock formations, which are simply karren fields. They are called Faqra Rocks. People gave the formations names like Teckle Dog, Abu Hole, Tutankhamoun, The General, The Bird on The Rock, Two Bishops, or The Monk. Those rock formations are located in the middle of the town and towards the west, where the limestone forms an escarpment.

The place is also an important archaeologic site named Qalaat Faqra. Ruins of Roman buildings, mostly temples, can be seen all over the karren fields. It is one of the most important sites of the UNESCO-listed Nahr al-Kalb valley, located at 1,500 m asl.

Right below the temple of Astarte, the intermittent spring Nabeh el Laben (Spring of Milk) is active every snow melt. It is met by the water flowing through the Faqra Natural Bridge producing a huge waterfall. Another intermittent spring called Nabeh el Assal (Spring of Honey) is only 700 m east of Faqra Natural Bridge. When it flows it produces the huge waterfall Faraya Falls