The Lebanon is not a big country which makes it possible to undertake day trips from Beirut to many of the country’s national treasures of which the palace and museum of Beit Eddine is one of the most famous.
In 1788 Emir Bashir Shibab II started to build a palace in the beautiful Chouf district approx. 50 km southeast from Beirut. The palace with its wide courtyard and lavish mosaics, arches, arcades, harems and hamams took 30 years to complete and is a prime example of oriental/ottoman architecture at its best.
Since the independence of Lebanon the palace is the summer residence of the president of the republic. The guest house was once visited by French poet and politician Lamartine whose daughter sadly died in Beirut.
But there is more to Beit Eddine. Each year the summer festival attracts thousands of music enthusiasts and such international artists like Elton John have performed here.
An awesome sight to behold is the museum which displays a huge collection of Canaanite Phoenician works of art as well as medieval weapons, ecclesiastical objects and jewelry.
Best take a taxi from Beirut which will follow the road to Damascus or book one of the guided tours but don’t miss a visit to this place.