Jezzine (Jezzine), 22 km from Saidon
(Saida, Sidon), 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 Jezzine the most important town in the area.
The town is located on the slopes of
Tumat Niha and is surrounded with pine forests, vineyards and orchards. From the
top of the huge rocky promontory known as al Shir, the visitor enjoys a
breathtaking view of the surrounding localities scattered in the midst of a
fertile plain and protected by mountains.
In the valley is a natural cave
known as the Fakhreddine Cave because the Lebanese Emir took refuge there to
escape Ottoman persecution. While his father Qurqumaz hid and died in this cave,
Fakhreddine was caught and taken to Istanbul.
After Fakhreddine the Great
was forced to abandon the impregnable cave castle of Shaqif Tiron Niha because
of the poisoning of its underground water supply, in 1635, the Prince made his
way over dangerous mountain paths along the Cliffside, in the dead of the night,
to the foot of the famous waterfall of Jezzine, some 6 kilometers to the south..
Here a local guide was
procured to conduct the small party of faithful retainers, who did not abandon
the great prince in the days of his adversity, up an even more difficult path
that led north along the face of the cliff to the fateful grotto where the
sovereign's father, the Emir Qurqumaz ibn Fakhreddine, had met his unhappy
end, also hunted by the Turks, in the late 16th Century.
At the end of this path, no
less difficult and dangerous today than it was three centuries ago, is a narrow
ledge overgrown with brambles and infested with serpents, who emerged from the
entrance of the gloomy cavern to sun themselves amid the limestone crevices.
Jezzine is a historical town, where
ancient sarcophagi and Crusader remains were found. To this remote past also
belongs a ruined old mosque.
famous historical monuments are, however, more recent:
-The Saint Antoine Convent, belonging to the Antoine order (1774)
-The Serail (1898)
-The Farid Serhal Palace, a monumental building in the oriental style where
an impressive collection of valuable antiquities is found.
Jezzine is the center of the Caza,
where several public administrations, banks, hotels, restaurants and amusement
centers are found. The town is famous for its traditional cutlery and daggers.
The tourist can also visit the fish farming installations, which are important
to Jezzine' economy.
Jezzine restaurants tradition began over a hundred years ago with a few simple
can enjoy the traditional Lebanese mezze as it is served nowhere else. To add to
the sense of timelessness, delicious mountain bread is baked before your eyes
and a man in baggy trousers and fez is on hand to pour Lebanese coffee. He can
also provide diners with a hubble-bubble (water pipe).
Most villages of the Jezzine area are summer resorts. Located at an average
altitude of 950m, nature endowed them with beautiful pine forests and fruit tree
orchards. Five kilometers from Jezzine lies Bkassin, a lovely quiet village.
From there, continue to Binwati, 7 km from Jezzine , where two old domed Moslem shrines
stand on a hill. The larger one, known as Nabi Misha is notable for its fine
stone work. The smaller shrine is called “nabbiyye,” the female form of the word
“nabi,” or prophet. In the village of Mashmushe, which was the first seat of the
Maronite bishopric in the area, you can visit the beautiful 18th century
On the main Jezzine -Saidon road are the villages of Homsiye and Rum. The latter
is surrounded by vineyards, pine forests and orchards. Three kilometers west of
Rum lies Anan, an old Byzantine settlement, famous for its artificial lake, fed
by the Litani river through a 16 km long tunnel. West of Anan is a small
Crusader fort, known as Abi al Hasan Citadel located on an 80m high promontory.
Continue in the direction of Sidon to the villages of Lebaa (22 km) and Kafr
Jarra (23 km) where second millennium rock-cut tombs have been excavated. One of
these is located near the rear wall of a small house near the village entrance.
It is in the vicinity of the old church. Near Kafr Jarra is the Church of Saint
John the Baptist, one of the oldest churches in the area. It was built in the
16th century and restored for the first time in 1755 as seen by the inscription
above its main entrance. This church was partly destroyed by the Israeli
bombardment and the Lebanese Directorate of Antiquities is presently restoring
The area south of Jezzine enjoys beautiful scenery. In the
midst of pine forests and orchards lie the village of Kfarhuna, Aramta, Rihan,
Ayshie and al-Jarmak. West of Aramta are the villages of Mallikh, Lwayze and
All these localities are important summer resorts because of their beautiful
natural environment and their healthy climate.
Information From the Ministry of