DerKamar, an authentic piece of Lebanon’s cultural history, Deir al-kamar, or Monastery of the Moon, is an exceptionally well-preserved traditional town tucked away in the evergreen Chouf forests and perched on a mountainside.
Its beautiful, narrow cobblestone streets, outdoor stone benches, and fragrant gardens blossoming with roses and jasmine are but a few of the town’s scenic attractions.
From the 16th to the 18th centuries, Deir el kamar was the residence of the governors of Lebanon, and the town is home to several historic and cultural sites, including the public Midan Square, its 15th-century Fakhreddine Mosque, Fakhreddine II Palace, and the 17th century Deir el Qamar Synagogue, which has been restored and entrusted to the French Cultural Center. Other interesting sites are the Marie Bazz wax museum, an old shoe market, and Al-Qaysariyya, a silk trading market.
The town is also known for its religious landmarks, such as Saydet at-Tella (Our Lady of the Hill), dedicated to the Miraculous Virgin. It was constructed on the ruins of a Phoenician temple for the goddess Astarte (Venus). At the southwestern side of the old city, you’ll come across a paved alley leading to a 17th century church called Saydet al-Wardiya, and an arched passage leading to St. Elias Church, built in 1741, for the town’s Greek Catholic community. Its altar, façade and gate are made of white and pink stones. Inside it lays the tomb of the poet Nicolas al-Turk.
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