village 6 km)
red-roofed village just south of Beirut is reached from the
old Sidon road. Wadi
Shahrour is interesting on several counts, most surprising,
perhaps, is that this unsoiled mountain town exists so close
to the perimeters of sprawling Beirut.
Shahrour was once famous for its 18th and 19th
century feudal palaces that belonged to the Chehabi Emirs.
Today, however, only one remains: the Dar Emir Mahmoud
Suleiman Ali Chehab, begun in 1806.
Now privately owned and under restoration, it is
located near the white domed Orthodox church in the village
house has a central courtyard and a garden. The high arcaded
entrance features two chained lions, often seen in Chehabi
architecture. In the
courtyard there is a water basin and a reception room with
seating along the sides. The
second floor is notable for the large “diwan” that was
used to receive important visitors.
town has many old houses, often carefully preserved.
The small restored Maronite church of Deir Mar Takla,
built in 1740, sits beside an ancient oak tree.
In the town cemetery are the tombs of numerous Chehabi