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  Deir Al Qamar Mosque

Deir Al Qamar, Lebanon

A scenic town with many well-preserved historical buildings. Famous for its palaces which display the ancient Lebanese style in architecture. It played a very important role in the history of Lebanon.

The most famous remains in Deir Al Qamar is the mosque of Emir Fakhr Eddine and the castle of Emir Melhem Shehab.

On the way to it, you will notice the Musa Castle. It was built by a man with a strange fetish for things medieval.

Considered as a well-preserved traditional village, Deir Al Qamar’s sites include the palace of a former Ottoman governor, a restored silk souk where rows of arched alcoves once sheltered merchants, a wax museum featuring historic figures in realistic settings, a late 16th century emir’s palace, and many homes with two arched windows typical of the region. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, where it does  not only preserves its grand feudal architecture, but its old stepped streets walled gardens and picturesque corners as well.

Deir Al Qamar in History

Shortly after Emir Fakhreddine II came to power in 1590, a chronic water shortage in Baaqline forced him to move his capital to Deir Al-Qamar. There he ruled until his death in 1635. The town remained the residence of the governors of Lebanon until the 18th century, when Emir Bechir II Chehab moved the capital to Beiteddine.

The huge public square or midan, which was originally used for jousts and other equestrian contests, is surrounded by historic buildings. The large water fountain was added in the 19th century.

Deir Al Qamar - Musa Castle   

In the square itself is Fakhreddine’s Mosque, constructed in 1493 and restored in the 16th century by Emir Fakhreddine I Maan for his Muslim mercenary soldiers. Behind the mosque is a 19th century leather-worker’s Souk or market, which today houses modern shops.

Beyond the souk is the Palace of Emir Younes Maan. Emir Younes, the brother of Emir Fakhreddine II, was army commander during Fakhreddine’s voluntary exile to Italy in 1613. Later, Emir Yousef Chehab (1770 - 1789) demolished the third story and used the stones to build his own residence, now the Serail or Municipal Palace.

The Silk Khan or Qaissariyyeh, located north of the Emir Yousef Chehab Serail, was built in 1595 during the reign of Fakhreddine II. 

It was designed in the classical Khan or caravansary style, and originally used as a public market place for jewellery and for silk. Today the khan makes a unique setting for cultural activities.
Nearby is the synagogue, which was built in the 17th century to serve the local Jewish population, some of whom were part of the immediate entourage of Emir Fakhreddine II.

In the area of Deir A-Qamar not far from Kfarhim, a sign marks the right turn to Jahiliyeh. Once in the village, a path leads to the riverside, where water flows down the mountain in a series of cold pools and waterfalls, specially refreshing in the hot summer months.

 

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Information From the Ministry of Tourism

Lebanese Ministry of Tourism

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