Tag Archives: Levant

Explore the beautiful Beit ed-Dine Palace

 

Beit ed-Dine is a small town and municipality in the Chouf District of the Mount Lebanon Governorate in Lebanon. It is about 45 kilometres southeast of Beirut. The area is predominantly Christian, and it is most well known for its 18th century Beiteddine Palace. Built by Emir Bashir II in 1788 the site’s control has been interchanged between the Ottoman Empire and later the French Mandate. Today you can enjoy walking around this beautiful palace after a short drive from Beirut. Entry for a nominal fee, you can explore some beautiful gardens and mosaics as well as the lavish lifestyle the inhabitants once had. Today it remains open to the public however it can be enjoyed by the sitting President as a summers residence.

A view from the Saint Charbel Church

A view from the back of the Saint Charbel Church.

Youssef Antoun Makhlouf joined the Lebanese Maronite Order in 1851 and by becoming a monk he took the name Charbel, after a Christian Martyr in Antioch from the 2nd century. The church is a site for pilgrims from Christian and Muslim faiths in Lebanon.

As you walk around the back of the Church you get some spectacular views of the mountainous terrain Lebanon is famous for. Great place to take a few minutes to reflect on the history of the place.

Sailing in Lebanon

With over 300 sunny days per year, sea water and perfect wind conditions throughout the year, Lebanon, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, is the ideal location for sailing. Indeed these conditions played an important role in the development of this coastline over thousands of years. For the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Byzantines and the Ottoman Empires trade along these shores connected East to West. Today, you can find a number of sailing clubs to join (although no traditional sailing boats are in sight!) so you can enjoy the Mediterranean in your own way!

Ever felt like an ant?

I took this photo at The #Temple of #Bacchus also known as the sanctuary of #Atargatis with its 69m length and 36m width and its 18.2m high columns makes you feel like an ant when you walk through its entrance. There is no antique temple of this size anywhere else in the world that is so well preserved. Atargatis was the second diety of the Phoenician pantheon, and formed a couple with Baal. She was the mother of the gods and represented female fecundity, sexual desire and war, with her vine, her crescent and her lions. There is no evidence that this temple was converted in to a church, as may be found elsewhere in the Levant.

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