Serhel

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Serhel, Lebanon: The origin of the name Serhel is Syriac, meaning "the elevated wall." The town is known for its pine forest, which also has some oak trees, in addition to a number of springs, most notably the Spring of Seraal. At an elevation of approximately 2,600 feet, the village commands an impressive view of the lower Kadisha valley to the east and from higher up in its pine forest a view of the Sahel down to the city of Tripoli and the blue Mediterranean Sea.

Serhel is home to a number of caves, including the cave of Bint Al-Malak ("the kings daughter"), Al-Zwayyet cave, and Ain Al-Mghara cave. Religious sites in the village include the ancient Church of the Angel Michael, dating back to 1893; the Grotto of Our Lady of Salvation; the Church of Saint Georges; the Church of Mar Sarkis and Bakhos; and the Church of Mar Challita.

During the presidency of Suleiman Frangieh in the 1970s, a major highway was built passing through the center of Serhel and linking Beirut and Shikka on the coast to Ehden and the Kadisha Gorge higher up on Mount Lebanon. The construction of this highway has made the picturesque village of Serhel more accessible, and made possible the construction of a large hotel and spa, Le Tournant, on the outskirts of town, bringing Serhel into the touristic picture of Lebanon.

Further reading[edit]

Serhel is extensively described, with a front cover of the village, in From Lebanon to California by Dr. Henry J. Zeiter, Xlibris Publishers, 2005.