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(Presidential Seat 9 km)

Since the mid-1960's Baabda has been the site of Lebanon's Presidential Palace as well as the administrative capital of Mount Lebanon. A dignified Ottoman "Serail" (administration building) typical of mutassarifiah period (1861 - 1915) stands on a high hill. Today the seat of Mount Lebanon's Mohafazat, it was built in 1887 and enlarged ten years later. In 1903 the main gate and the emblem of the sultan carved above it.
The beautiful fountain in the of the town's roundabout, made of yellow stone and decorated with finely carved arabesques and calligraphy, dates to the same period.

(Traditional village 6 km)

This 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.

Wadi 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 center.

The 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.

The 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 Emirs.

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