Men 3enna men El Chouf

Men 3enna men El Chouf

Chouf has always been an inspiring destination. Since the times when the Emirs of Lebanon used to have their residence in Chouf, the area has been renowned for its idyllic nature and breezy summers. It’s also a hotspot of historical and cultural gems, so whether you’re a nature lover or history buff, your next trip should be to the mountains of the Chouf.

When we Lebanese say Chouf, many of us tend to think of one spectacular attraction: the magnificent palace of Beiteddine. Built by the Emir Bashir II during the first half of the 19th century, it’s been inhabited by a slew of different figures such as the Emir himself, the Ottomans, the French and the Lebanese president. All of these influences and more have left their traces on this breathtaking monument, and today it hosts the annual Beiteddine Festival and the Beiteddine Palace Museum within its walls.

Another historical town, just facing Beiteddine, is Deir al Qamar (literary translation: the monastery of the Moon). Undoubtedly one of Lebanon’s most fascinating villages, it is known for once having hosted an active church, synagogue, mosque and Druze meeting hall all on the central square. Deir al-Qamar’s roots lie in the Middle Ages and three centuries later, it remains one of Lebanon’s best-preserved examples of 17th & 18th century provincial architecture.

Another fan favorite of the Chouf mountains is the picturesque village of Baakline. This town, which lies around 4 kilometers southwest of Beiteddine, has beautiful old homes and local handiwork shops which are renowned mostly for their very good crochet work and carpet weaving.

Of course, the Chouf is home to one of Lebanon’s biggest and most precious cedar tree reserves, the Chouf Cedar Reserve. It’s the largest of Lebanon’s three natural protectorates, and represents a quarter of the remaining cedar forests in the country and 5% of Lebanon’s entire area.

Other spots to check out in the Chouf include the Emir Fakhreddine Maan Mosque, the Younes Maan Palace, the Silk Khan, the Fakhreddine Palace and the Youssef Chehab Serail. Also worth a visit is the Moussa Castle, with its bizarre collection of curiosities, antiques and weaponry.

Want to get a taste of the Chouf? Get yourself some organic products like honey, mouneh products, embroideries and more here.

From Lebanon Traveler

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