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Destination Details

Chouf, Lebanon

Beit ed-Dine “House of Religion" is a small Lebanese town and Capital of Chou, approx. 50 km southeast of Beirut and near the town of Dier el Qamar from which it is separated by a steep valley. The town is famous for its magnificent Beiteddine Palace which hosts the Beiteddine Festivals every summer.

Local emir Bachir Chenab II who was later appointed to rule Mount Lebanon, started building the palace in 1788. 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.

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

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