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The Church of St. Stephen
The Church of St. Stephen
Country  Lebanon
Governorate North Governorate
District Batroun District
Batroun is located in Lebanon
Location of Batroun, Lebanon
Coordinates 34°15′0″N 35°39′0″E / 34.25°N 35.65°E / 34.25; 35.65Coordinates: 34°15′0″N 35°39′0″E / 34.25°N 35.65°E / 34.25; 35.65
Elevation m (0 ft)

The coastal city of Batroun (Greek: Βοτρύς, Arabic: البترون) located in northern Lebanon is one of the oldest cities of the world. Batroun is home to a Lebanese Red Cross First Aid Center.[1]



The name Batroun derives from the Greek, Botrys (also spelled Bothrys), which was later Latinized to Botrus. Historians believe that the Greek name of the town originates from the Phoenician word, bater, which means to cut and it referes to the maritime wall that the Phoenicians built in the sea to protect them from tidal waves.[2] Other historians believe that the name of the town is derivative of the Phoenician words, beit truna, which translates to house of the chief.


Our Lady of the Seas

Batroun is a major tourist destination in North Lebanon. The town boasts tens of historic churches, both Catholic and Greek Orthodox. The town is also a major beach resort with a vibrant nightlife. Citrus groves surround Batroun, and the town has been famous, from the early twentieth century, for its fresh lemonade, which is sold by most of the cafés and restaurants on its main street.


The people of Batroun are Lebanese and followers of the Maronite Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches. Batroun is a Roman Catholic (Latin rite) Titular See[3][4]


Street in Batroun

Batroun is likely the "Batruna" mentioned in the el-Amarna letters dating to the 14th century B.C.

Batroun was mentioned by the ancient geographers Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy, Stephanus Byzantius, and Hierocles. Theophanes called the city "Bostrys."[5]

The Phoenicians founded Batroun on the southern side of the promontory called in Antiquity, Theoprosopon and during the Byzantine Empire, Cape Lithoprosopon. Batroun is said to have been founded by Ithobaal I (Ethbaal), king of Tyre, whose daughter Jezabel (897-866 B.C.) married Ahab.[6]

The city belonged under Roman rule to Phoenicia Prima province, and later after the region was Christianized became a suffragan of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

In 551, Batroun was destroyed by an earthquake, which also caused mudslides and made the Cape Lithoprosopon crack.[7] Historians believe that Batroun's large natural harbor was formed during the earthquake.[8]

Three Greek Orthodox bishops are known to have come from Batroun: Porphyrius in 451, Elias about 512 and Stephen in 553 (Lequien, II, 827). According to a Greek Notitia episcopatuum, the Greek Orthodox See has existed in Batroun since the tenth century when the city was then called Petrounion. After the Muslim conquests of the region, the name was arabicized to Batroun.

One of Batroun's medieval archaeological sites is the Crusader citadel of Mousaylaha which is constructed on an isolated massive rock with steep sides protruding in the middle of a plain surrounded by mountains.[9]

Under Ottoman rule, Batroun was the centre of a caza in the mutessariflik of Lebanon and the seat of a Maronite diocese, suffragan to the Maronite patriarchate. Since 1999 it has been the seat of the Maronite eparchy.[10]

Famous People from Batroun

House in Batroun's Vieux Quartier
  • Gibran Bassil, Minister of Post and Telecommunications
  • Antoine Zahra, Parliament Member
  • Boutros Harb, Parliament Member
  • John Abizaid, American commander of US army in the Middle East, From Douma-Batroun
  • Leon Michel Hoyek, born in 1944, founder and president of three Health Dispensaries established in 1987 under the name of "Human Development Movement" in Batrun, Lebanon. He played an important role during the Lebanese civil war supplying individuals in need with the proper health and food services, despite the gravity of the situation. He is the current occupant of Patriarch Elias Hoyek's house in Helta, Batrun.
  • Saint Nimattullah Kassab Al-Hardini,(1808-1856) Youssef Kassab was born in Hardeen of Batroun , in 1808 . His father was Gerges Kassab , and his mother Maryam Raad. He entered the Lebanese Maronite order's school at Saint Anthony's Monastery in Houb in 1816 stayed there until 1822.
  • Michel Basbous, (1921 – 1981) Michel Basbous was born in Rachana, Batroun in 1921. Basbous taught sculpture at the American University of Beirut. Michel Basbous made Rachana an artistic and cultural center be exhibiting his sculptures in open air.
  • Sayed Akl, ex- Parliament Member
  • Joseph Attieh - Lebanese singer who won Star Academy 3


  1. ^ Our Centers
  2. ^
  3. ^ Bothrys - Catholic Encyclopedia article
  4. ^ Botrys (Titular See) - from
  5. ^ Malalas, Chronogr., XVIII, in P.G., XCVII, 543, cited in Bothrys - Catholic Encyclopedia article
  6. ^ (Menander, in Josephus, Ant, VIII, xiii, 2), cited in Bothrys - Catholic Encyclopedia article
  7. ^ Malalas, Chronogr., XVIII, in P.G., XCVII, 704 , cited in Bothrys - Catholic Encyclopedia article
  8. ^ Annals 48, 3, 2005+app1
  9. ^ - Batroun Official Website
  10. ^ Eparchy of Batrun (Maronite) - from

External links

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