Saint George Bay

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Coordinates: 33°55′10″N 35°33′3″E / 33.91944°N 35.55083°E / 33.91944; 35.55083

View of St. George Bay and snow-capped Mount Sannine from the Corniche
Saint George Bay in 1880

The Saint George Bay (French: Golfe de Saint-Georges), also known as the Bay of Beirut, is located on the northern coast of the city of Beirut in Lebanon. The Beirut River empties into the bay.

Etymology[edit]

The bay is named after St. George, a popular saint in the eastern Mediterranean among the various Christian sects[1].

Location[edit]

The bay is situated north of Beirut[2] and runs from the Cape of Ras Beirut, extending eastward and then northward until it reaches the marina of Dbayeh. High rise apartment buildings and hotels overlook the bay and its palm-lined promenade, the Corniche. The Port of Beirut occupies the eastern part of the bay and so does the marina and the famous landmark, the Saint George Hotel. The hotel's name derives from the bay.

Legend of the Bay[edit]

According to legend, the bay is where Saint George slew the dragon[3] at a grotto with seven coves, located at the mouth of the Beirut River[4]. After killing the dragon, St. George washed his hands in the waters of the river, which locals believed for centuries had curative value, and so the site became popular with pilgrims who stuck pebbles on the walls of the caves or tied cloth to the gates, and when their wishes were granted, they came back and untied the cloths[5].

Sporting Events at the Bay[edit]

The bay hosted the world sailing championships in the Fireball class in 1971 and was the scene of an annual international water ski championship[6] from 1955 until the beginning of the war.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Riches, Samantha. St George: A Saint for All. Reaktion Books; 1St Edition edition (June 15, 2015), page 39.
  2. ^ Gorton, T.J. A Beirut Anthology: Travel Writing through the Centuries, The American University in Cairo Press; 1 edition (August 1, 2015), page 47
  3. ^ Helen Gibson, "St. George The Ubiquitous", Saudi Aramco World, November/December 1971
  4. ^ Riches, Samantha. St George: A Saint for All. Reaktion Books; 1St Edition edition (June 15, 2015), page 39.
  5. ^ Riches, Samantha. St George: A Saint for All. Reaktion Books; 1St Edition edition (June 15, 2015), page 40.
  6. ^ Gerry Loughran, "Games Arabs Play" Aramco World Magazine, Volume 23, Number 7, Summer 1972

External links[edit]

Media related to Beirut Corniche at Wikimedia Commons