Beit Mery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Beit Mery
بيت مري
City
View over the hill
View over the hill
Map showing the location of Beit Mery within Lebanon
Map showing the location of Beit Mery within Lebanon
Beit Mery
Location within Lebanon
Coordinates: 33°51′56″N 35°35′43″E / 33.8656°N 35.5953°E / 33.8656; 35.5953Coordinates: 33°51′56″N 35°35′43″E / 33.8656°N 35.5953°E / 33.8656; 35.5953
Country  Lebanon
Governorate Mount Lebanon Governorate
District Matn District
Elevation 800 m (2,600 ft)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Dialing code +961-4-

Beit Mery (Arabic: بيت مري‎) is a Lebanese town overlooking the capital Beirut. The town has been a summer mountain resort since the times of the Phoenicians and later the Romans. The name derives from Aramaic and means "The house of my Lord". On one of the three hills of Beit Mery (Southern end of town) along the Lebanon Western mountain range are the ruins of the old Phoenician and Roman temples that were erected in the same general area in what is now known as Deir El-Qala'a (دير القلعة). At present, a Christian church and monastery sit on top of parts of the old Roman temple. Les Scouts Du Liban Groupe Sainte Marie Beit Mery is one of the biggest movement in town and it is located in College des Freres since 1969. Beit Mery is home to a Lebanese Red Cross First Aid Center.[1]

Culture[edit]

The town is the site of the annual Al Bustan festival,[2] held in the theatre of the Al Bustan hotel.[3] The festival was created in 1994 by Myrna Al Bustani, owner of the hotel.

Among the artists who performed at the festival, Julian Lloyd Webber (cellist), Gautier Capuçon (cellist), Gianluca Marciano (conductor), Virginia Tola (soprano), Inva Mula (soprano), Helikon Opera, Stile Antico, Evelyn Glennie (percussions), Boris Berezovsky (pianist), Khatia Buniatishvili (pianist), Alondra de la Parra (conductor), Oliver Poole (pianist), Anna Tifu (violin).

Demography[edit]

The residents of Beit Mery are mainly Christian (Maronite, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Armenian Orthodox) and Druze.

Geography[edit]

Beit Mery occupies a hill, 700–750 meters above sea level, which gives the town views of the Beirut peninsula and part of Lebanon's Mediterranean coast. It has an area of 5.48 km2. Since 2000 Beit Mery started to be a suburban town and is 16 km away from Beirut.

History[edit]

The Roman rulers of Lebanon made Beit Mery their summer resort due to its high location and summer weather.[4]

Archaeology[edit]

There are two prehistoric archaeological sites in Beit Meri where flint industries have been found by Jesuit archaeologists:[5]

1) Beit Mery I is on the right bank of the Beirut River, south southwest of the town at an altitude of approximately 125 metres (410 ft) above sea level. It was found by Jesuit Father Dillenseger who determined it to be an Acheulean site. The material was donated to the Saint Joseph University by the French Faculty of Medicine.[5]

2) Beit Mery II is east of the road from Beit Mery to Deir el Qala'a on a sloping plateau facing the junction of the Nahr Meten and Nahr Jamani. It was found by M. Gautier who recovered Heavy Neolithic flint tools from the surface. V. Hankey also recovered some retouched blades from this area.[5]

But what makes very important Beit Mery -even for tourism- are the scattered ruins of the Roman era, that lasted five centuries plus the two of the byzantine era.[6]

In Beit Mery there it is what’s left of a Roman temple that once matched the grandeur of Baalbek’s temples and Niha’s fortress. A church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was built over the temple’s remains in the 18th century. You can still see the original stonework in the remaining columns that adorn the square at the church’s entrance. Though it suffered a great deal of damage during the Civil War, the site has since been dutifully restored and maintained for cultural and touristic events. The monastery has proved an ideal locale for concerts, competitions, art exhibitions, conferences, poetry nights, and social gatherings. In town, below the monastery, you will find smaller temples dedicated to various Roman deities, in addition to public Roman baths with their terra cotta pipes. There are also some remains of a Byzantine city that dates back to the 5th and 6th centuries.Lebanon Ministry of Tourism [7]

Tourism[edit]

The town has ancient Roman and Byzantine ruins as well as the historic Maronite Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, (Deir el Kalaa) which was built in 1750.[8] The town, which is only 16 km from Beirut, continues to be a summer resort in Lebanon with a landmark hotel, the Al Bustan. Pine forests surround the town. Restaurants with views of the valleys and the sea make Beit Mery a favorite summer spot.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Our Centers Archived February 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Al Bustan Festival
  3. ^ Hotel Al Bustan - Beirut
  4. ^ Beit Mery Archived August 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ a b c Lorraine Copeland; P. Wescombe (1965). Inventory of Stone-Age sites in Lebanon, p. 75. Imprimerie Catholique. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Roman Beit Mery video
  7. ^ Roman remains in Beit Mery
  8. ^ Beit Mery Archived November 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]