2 km north of Byblos, this ancient coastal town climbs briefly
up the lower elevations of Mount Lebanon.
Amchit is known for its many traditional houses
including the residence of French writer, Ernest Renan, who
lived here in the 19th century.
The Tomb of Henriette Renan, his sister, can
also be visited.
East of the village is a funerary cave made into a chapel
dedicated to Mar Sophia (Saint Sophia) and her
sarcophagus with a Greek inscription serves as an altar.
Look for other antique remains and traces of rock
carvings in the same areaf
of Saint George near the village was apparently built on
an ancient temple and the altar here has both Greek and Arabic
are Saydet Naya, where there are more rock excavations, and
Deir Mar Zahia, with an ancient rock-cut necropolis.
has the country’s only organized campsite, a pleasant
place with attractive beaches available to campers.
Amchit is also known for its baskets and mats woven
from palm leaves.
seven km north of Amchit, a footpath leads to the abandoned
village of Bjarine, vacated about the time of World War
I. Today its old stone
houses shelter passing herds of sheep and goats but the church
is still used on occasion. The
site is visible from the road and enjoys an excellent view.
It’s also a good place for a picnic.
Local residents will be happy to show you where to
begin this pleasant walk, which takes about an hour each way.
km east of Amchit in Bahdeidat is the Church of Mar
Tadros (St. Theodore).
A small square structure of rough stones with an
unusual enclosed porch, much of its interior is covered with
wall paintings from the 12th and 13th centuries.
In the center is Christ enthroned according to
Revelations and among the figures along the side walls are St.
Theodore and St. George on horseback.
Look for a Syriac inscription above the nave.
If the door is locked, villagers will direct you to the
priest, who has the key.
double Church of the Virgin and St. Stephen also retains
its vaulted porch and a few traces of wall paintings.
From the porch you enter the small chapel of Mar
Estephanos (Saint Stephen) which opens onto the chapel of the
Virgin. The entire
structure was probably built on the remains of a Roman temple.
The Church of Mar Nqoula (Saint Nicholas) also
has some Medieval wall paintings.
overlooks Bentael village and the surrounding forest,
which has been made into a National Preserve of flora
and fauna typical of Mount Lebanon’s mid-elevations.
Nearby is the historic Monastery of Mar Yohanna.