The village of Douma is located at an altitude of 1000m, 80km from Beirut and 30 km from Jbeil and 43 km from Tripoli. Douma is a part of Batroun District and is known for its special location in a valley surrounded by mountains. Almost all its houses are made of red brick. It enjoys a unique temperate climate praised by physicians as the ultimate place of medical refuge. Its ground is rich and welcomes all sorts of plants especially and has an abundance of olive trees, vine and apple trees.
Douma witnessed different civilizations including the Greeks, Romans to Turks. However the Ottoman Empire left the largest impact on Douma's inhabitants.
Origin Of the Name Of Douma
So where does the name come from?
Well it depends on who you ask …
The name Douma has a Greek origin meaning "house", "palace" or "castle". Douma also comes from the Latin word "Doman" used to designate a Queen (Julia Doman) famous for her beauty and intelligence. She was born in Alep in 170 B.C., the daughter of a priest of the Sun God worshiped by the Alep's population. She was marries to the Roman Caesar Septime Severe who built for her a palace in a village that later took on her name.
Douma's pronunciations also comes from the Hebrew language word of "Doumah" meaning calm and rest.
Douma is also names "Douma El Hadid" (Douma the iron) due to the abundance of Iron found it its soil and the superior craftsmanship of its blacksmiths. The arming industry established under Ibrahimn Basha's regime encouraged many people from Showeir to come and settle in Douma since opportunities of work were plentiful at the time.
The majority of the infrastructure and housing in Douma was built between 1881 and 1914. This was the golden age in the life of Douma financed by the money sent by emigrants in Brazil, Argentina and USA.
The archeological vestiges found in Douma showed that they go back to the greek and roman era. Two greek inscriptions, the first of which is written on a trough that is used today as a fountain (the source of Ain Al Tahta). The translation of the inscription would be: "In the year 629, here rests Caston, servant of Asckwape and Hygiae gods. It is forbidden to sell this site and the one who dares will pay 2000 Dinar for the state in order for that site to remain for the owners."
Ernest Renan mentions it in his book "Mission in Phenicia". Supposedly, this trough was imported from another place to the source of the God of medicine's temple, which we know today as "Mar Doumit" or Douma's St. Doumit Church.
The second inscription is found on an embedded stone in the wall of St. Doumit's church.
In Douma's mountains we find Roman inscriptions dated back to 180 B.C. "Here end the limits of the European Adrian" on of them reads. On another rock, we see the following inscription: "anyone who cuts the cypress and the conifers is subject o punishment". The text engraved on the rock is as follows:
"IMP HAD AUG S F. IMP"
In the public square a sarcophagus make of chalky stone holds the following comment: "here the God of health was buried". It goes back to the IV's Century. The sarcophagus was moved from its original location of the Pagan temple of Mar Doumit to the village square.