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    Ras el Metn is approached from Mansourieh along a road that winds through an unspoiled landscape of pine-clad hills. The village itself, visible on a high mountain ridge, holds the promise of spectacular views. From its heights (between 800 and 1,000 meters) one can also look out across the valley to the towns of Dhour Chweir, Baabdat, Broumana and Beit Mery.
    This villages which have about 10,000 people, is notable for its sense of civic pride. It is also the birthplace of one of Lebanon's most famous modern personalities, the writer Anis Freiha.
    The beautiful umbrella pines that surround the village are a source of valuable pine nuts, while olives, grapes, figs, apricots and other fruits are cultivated here as well.
    A look around Ras El Metn will reveal a number of interesting sights. On a high hill stands a large serail, or government house, built by the Lamaayeen princes in 1775. The huge building later served as a high school. Although damaged in Lebanon's recent war, one can still appreciate the serail's elegant courtyard and bell tower. Restoration work is planned for the near future.

    Also scheduled for restoration is the spring known as Nabaa Ein el Marj, found in the lower part of the village. Remarkable for its arched facade built in 1472, the plaque recording its construction is still in place.

    Much older, are the ancient tombs carved into the rocky cliffs and headlands of Ras El Metn, while just below the village the refuge of a holy woman, Sitt Sarah can be found in a rock-
scattered field.

    According to the legend, a rock miraculously opened into a cave to shelter Sitt Sarah as she fled from danger. Finally carved from living stone, the site is an ancient tomb chamber. Hikers should also ask about the Grotto of Hiskan, which is about a two hours walk from the village.







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