Beiteddine is a restored 200-year old architectural masterpiece and highlight of the Chouf Mountains in Lebanon. It was originally built over a period of 30 years by Emir Bashir Chehab II, Ottoman-appointed governor of the region. After Lebanon’s independence from the French, the palace was declared a historic monument and the country’s first president proclaimed it his summer residence before it was returned to the government. Beiteddine is known to capture its visitors’ hearts with its enormous courtyards, breathtaking fountains, ochre stone and flawless arcades. The marble doors, vibrantly colored windows and mandaloun-style balconies accurately embody certain characteristics of the 19th century period.

When visiting Beiteddine, it is important to pass through all three courtyards of the palace: Dar Al Baraniyyeh, Dar Al Wousta and Dar Al Harim. Dar Al Baraniyyeh is where the main gate opens to a wide outer courtyard that is walled on three sides only – the fourth side overlooks the neighboring valleys and hills. Dar Al Wousta is the smaller central courtyard where a flowing fountain can be found. Underneath this area is where the former stables were located – now showcasing an outstanding collection of 5th and 6th century Byzantine mosaics. Lastly, Dar Al Harim, the center of the Emir’s residence, is the inner courtyard which features multicolored tile and mosaics, a hammam and huge kitchens.

Beiteddine also holds one of the leading festivals in the Middle East – the Beiteddine Festival taking place between July and August every year. It is known for presenting outstanding musical and theatrical performances and art exhibitions by international and local artists.

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