Lebanon Vacation Trips
Island Trips Middle East offers travel tips and information for top travel places and best destinations. We feature links, resources and large selection of budget airlines, chartered planes, sea cruises, ferries, travel agencies, land transports and attractions including beaches, medical tourism, retirement homes, historical and pilgrimage tours.
Deir El Qamar
Situated in the Shouf, Deir El Qamar is one of Lebanon’s best-preserved towns. With its impressive traditional architecture displayed in the numerous palaces and monuments across the area, it is considered as one of the country’s historical heritages.
Under the Ottoman domination and shortly after Emir Fakhreddine II came to power in 1590, a chronic water shortage in Baaqline forced him to move his capital to Deir El Qamar.
There he ruled until his death in 1635. The town remained the political capital of Lebanon and the residence of the governors until the 18th century, when Emir Bechir II Chehab moved the capital to Beiteddine. With time, the significance of Beiteddine diminished gradually to be overtaken by Beirut, today’s capital.
In the town’s midane, or vast public place, is Fakhreddine the First’s Mosque, built in 1493. Behind this mosque you can visit a 19th century leather-workers’ souk or market, which today houses various modern shops.
In 1613, Emir Younes, Emir Fakhreddine the Second’s brother, was designated as the army commander during Fakhreddine’s voluntary exile to Italy. His Palace, located just beyond the souk, was partly demolished by Emir Youssef Chehab. Its stones were used to build Chehab’s personal residence, now known as the Seraglio or the Municipality Palace.
Emir Fakhreddine Maan’s Seraglio, presently known as the Emile Baz Palace, is located behind the souks. In this palace, you can visit the Marie Baz Wax Museum housing models of legendary Lebanese personalities.
As you will discover on your journey through its hills, the Shouf displays a wide variety of vegetation and picturesque sceneries. Today Deir El Qamar’s inhabitants are determined to preserve not only its architecture, which dates back to feudal times, but also its paved streets, walled gardens and its charming secluded corners.
Traveling, you realize that differences are lost: each city takes to resembling all cities, places exchange their form, order, distances, a shapeless dust cloud invades the continents. Italo Calvino
To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries. Aldous Huxley