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(Coastal town 37 km)

   About 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 daughters. A sarcophagus with a Greek inscription serves as an altar. Look for other antique remains and traces of rock carvings in the same areaf
   The Church of Saint George near the village was apparently built on an ancient temple and the altar here has both Greek and Arabic inscriptions. Nearby are Saydet Naya, where there are more rock excavations, and Deir Mar Zahia, with an ancient rock-cut necropolis.
   Coastal Amchit 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.
    About 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.
    Some 8 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.
    The 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.
    Bahdeidat 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.

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