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Citadel of Sidon - As It Appeared on Year 1810. It was built by the Crusadors in the early 13th century.  
Painting Of The Citadel of Sidon  

 Zahlee (Zahle)



Jizzine Waterfalls

Jizzine - Waterfalls

Jizzine is the most famous summer and touristic resort of South Lebanon because of its beautiful landscape and its 40m high waterfalls. Vital public facilities contributed in making Jizzine the most important town in the area.



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Jeita Grotto Profile

Altitude: 186m
Distance from Beirut: 23km

Getting there

From Beirut, go north, through Nahr El Kalb tunnel, turn right to Ajaltoun, and to Jeita Grotto.

Jeita Grotto

Few caverns in the world approach the astounding wealth or the extent of those of Jeita. In these caves and galleries, known to man since Paleolithic times, the action of water has created cathedral-like vaults beneath the wooded hills of Mount Lebanon.

Geologically, the caves provide a tunnel or escape route for the underground river, which is the principal source of the Nar el-Kalb (Dog River). Located some 20 kilometers along the highway North of Beirut, a large sign indicates the right turn from Zouk Mickael village, just beyond the tunnel. The caverns are on two levels. The lower galleries, discovered in 1836 and opened to the public in 1958, are visited by boat. The upper galleries, opened in January 1969, can be seen on foot.

To mark the inauguration of the upper galleries, arranged by the Lebanese artist and sculptor Ghassan Klink, a concert was organized in the cave featuring electronic music by the French composer François Bayle. Other cultural events have taken place in this unusual venue, including a concert by the German composer Carl-Heinrich Stochhausen in November 1969.

Jeita remained a popular attraction until the recent Lebanese conflict forced it to close in the mid 1970’s. Upon the initiative of Minister of Tourism Nicolas Fattouche, the Ministry charged the German company "Mapas" to renovate and re-equip its facilities by the most modern techniques and to operate the complex. On July 6, 1995, this natural wonder was again open to the public.

Inside The Caves

Jeita Grotto  

In summer you can visit both the upper and lower galleries while enjoying the refreshingly cool temperature inside the caves. The lower section is sometimes closed in winter when the water level is high, but the extensive upper galleries are open all year.

Plan on about two hours for the tour, which includes a boat ride through the lower galleries, the visit to the upper galleries on foot and a film presentation.

Jeita Rediscovered

The modern discovery of the underground river of Jeita dates to 1836 and is attributed to Reverend William Thomson, an American missionary who ventured some 50 meters into the cave. Reaching the underground river, he fired a shot from his gun and the resulting echoes convinced him that he had found a cavern of major importance.

In 1873 W.J. Maxwell and H.G. Huxley, engineers with the Beirut Water Company, and their friend Reverend Daniel Bliss, president of the Syrian Protestant College (later the American University of Beirut) explored these caverns. In two expeditions carried out in 1873 and 1874 they penetrated 1,060 meters into the grotto-principal source of the Nahr el-Kalb that supplies Beirut with water. They were finally stopped by "Hell's Rapids", where the river flows in torrents over razor sharp rocks.

Like explorers everywhere, Dr. Bliss, Mr. Maxwell and the other engineers could not resist recording their names and the year on "Maxwell's Column", a great limestone pillar some 625 meters from the entrance.

About 200 meters further on, in the so-called "Pantheon', they wrote their names and details of the expedition on paper, sealed it in a bottle and placed it on top of a stalagmite. The action of the lime- impregnated water has since covered the bottle with a thin white film, permanently fixing it to the stone. Between 1892 and 1940 further expeditions were carried out, mostly by English, American or French explorers. These efforts brought them to a depth of 1,750 meters.

Since the 1940's, Lebanese explorers, notably the members of the Speleo-Club of Lebanon founded by the first Lebanese speleologist Lionel Ghorra, have pushed even deeper into the Jeita grotto. Their methodical exploration revealed the great underground system of the upper and lower galleries which is now known to a depth approaching 9 kilometers.

The upper galleries, discovered in August 1958 by Lebanese speleologists, required a hazardous climb to 650 meters above the entrance of the underground river. Altogether, 2,130 meters of this gallery have been explored.




Information From the Ministry of Tourism

Lebanese Ministry of Tourism

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