Architecture 43 km)
Salima is reached via Baabdat on a road that winds down
through an unspoiled valley then up to the opposite hillside.
Continue to the top of the town where many old structures
still stand, most in an advanced state of ruin.
The main attraction is Salima Palace, a
Druze fortress of the Abillama Emirs built in 1721 by
the first Prince Abillama. Acquired in 1882 by the Capuchins,
the building was changed and restored in 1895 and 1906.
The grandiose main entrance comes
into view first as you approach a prominent bend in the road.
The main portal is enclosed in an ornate arabesque molding
with two lions flanking the central arch. Above the portal is
the old "diwan" or reception room. The road then
takes you to the top level where it is possible to enter the
house and explore some of its rooms and the upper courtyard.
Salima also has several old churches.
Probably the oldest, built in 1684, is on the lower level. A
tour around the town will reveal a considerable number of
houses contemporary with the castle, most without roofs. But
despite their condition, these buildings make the entrance to
Salima a unique and dramatic sight.