Beit ed-Dine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Beit ed-Dine
بيت الدين
City
Beiteddine Palace
Beiteddine Palace
Map showing the location of Beit ed-Dine within Lebanon
Map showing the location of Beit ed-Dine within Lebanon
Beit ed-Dine
Location within Lebanon
Coordinates: 33°41′43.97″N 35°34′45.13″E / 33.6955472°N 35.5792028°E / 33.6955472; 35.5792028Coordinates: 33°41′43.97″N 35°34′45.13″E / 33.6955472°N 35.5792028°E / 33.6955472; 35.5792028
Country  Lebanon
Governorate Mount Lebanon Governorate
District Chouf District
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Dialing code +961
Beiteddine is the capital of the Chouf District

Beit ed-Dine (in Arabic بيت الدين, translates to "House of Religion") is a small Lebanese town in the Chouf District, approx. 50 km southeast of Beirut and near the town of Deir el-Qamar from which it is separated by a steep valley. The town is famous for its magnificent Beiteddine Palace which hosts the Beiteddine Festival every summer.

Local emir Bashir Chehab II who was later appointed to rule Mount Lebanon, started building the palace in 1788 at the site of the Druze hermitage (hence the town's name, translating as "House of Faith"). It took about 30 years to complete. The best craftsmen from Damascus and Aleppo as well as Italian architects were invited and given much freedom, so its style is a cross between traditional Arab and Italian baroque.

After 1840, when Bashir was sent into exile the palace was used by the Ottomans as a government building, during the French Mandate its role was preserved and it served as a local administrative office. In 1934, it was declared a national monument. In 1943, Bechara El Khoury, the first Lebanese president, declared it the official president's summer residence. During the Lebanese civil war it was heavily damaged. After 1984, when fighting in the area receded, Walid Jumblatt ordered its restoration. Parts of the palace are today open to the public while the rest is still the president's summer residence.

Bashir built three more palaces in the town for his sons, till today only Mir Amin Palace survived and is today a luxury hotel.

Beiteddine is home to a Lebanese Red Cross First Aid Center.[1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]