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(Lebanon's First Arabic Printing Press 30 km)

    This attractive town between Bolognia and Betghrine is known for its traditional red-roofed houses and its skilled stone masons.


    Khenchara is the home of the Melchite Catholic the Monastery of St. John of Chouweir or Deir et-Tabcheh, founded 1696-97. The oldest of its three churches is dedicated to St. John the Baptist and dates to the 12th century. There is also the 18th century church of Saint Nicolas, with its beautiful iconostatis of wood.
    In addition to its magnificent collection of icons and an excellent library, the monastery is the site of the Middle East's first Arabic Printing Press, whose original publication appeared in 1734. A five-room museum displays the old presses and some 450 related objects and pieces of equipment. Founder of the press, Abdallah el-Zakher from Aleppo, built the oldest machine between 1726 and 1733.

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