Yammouneh is the site of an ancient sacred
lake and Roman temple. The turnoff for
Yammouneh, near the town Chlifa, takes you
twenty-seven kilometers over rugged empty
foothills; a good introduction to the
beautiful, but remote Yammouneh valley.
A great water cavern west of the temple
fills the lake each year, although at other
times it may appear almost dry. Luxurious
Roman villas used to occupy the area between
the cavern and the temple and numerous
altars, statues and other elements have been
All that remains of the temple today is a
retaining wall of limestone blocks which
goes down to the lake level. Beneath are
supposed to be subterranean chambers.
Presumably dedicated to Venus-Astrate,
legend has it that when Typhon made war
against the heavens, it was at Yammouneh
that Venus changed herself into a fish.