Hasbaya, 120 kilometers from Beirut, is a breathtaking area with a rich history in art, culture, and heritage.
A 2-hour ride from Beirut, Hasbaya is a forgotten historical attraction in South Lebanon. It has the oldest standing ruins that date back to the Crusader period.
Villagers in Hasbaya keep their traditions alive by preserving their customs and rituals.
Here are a few interesting facts about Hasbaya’s unique villages:
#1 Chehabi Citadel
The Chebabi Citadel, also known as the Serail of Hasbaya, is the centerpiece of antiquity in Hasbaya. The citadel was a strategic location for crusaders, who are believed to have built the castle in the eleventh century.
However, its origins remain uncertain and may go back to earlier periods of the Romans or the Arabs.
In the 1170s, the Chehabi emirs managed to throw the crusaders out and renovated the castle for residential and military use. The six-floor citadel preserves the interior design and architecture of the Ottoman and Mamluk periods.
Until today, the number of rooms in the citadel remains inaccurate due to its huge size. Its ownership is spread among fifty branches of the Chehabi family, some of whom still live there.
#2 Souk El-Khan
Widely known as an archaeological landmark in Hasbaya, Souk El-Khan is an old market where people used to exchange goods.
The Souk is located inside a pine forest. It is said that Ali, the son of Prince Fakhreddine Maan, was killed there.
Dating back to the 14th century, the ancient public market is one of the oldest and biggest markets.
Mount Hermon, also known as Jabal Al-Shaikh, is located at 2,814 meters above sea level, the second-highest point in Lebanon.
Its southern slopes extend to the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel. The term “Hermon” refers to its sacred and strategic landmark since the Bronze Age.
The mountain is mentioned 15 times in the “Epic of Gilgamesh” and the Bible as the chosen place by Jesus Christ for his transfiguration. In the Roman period, people regarded it as the residence of God.
At the foot of Mount Hermon, you will find the town of Habbarieh. Throughout history, Ottomans, Canaanites, and Hebrews tried to occupy it, knowing its strategic location only a few miles from the Syrian and Palestinian borders.
Habbarieh is famous for its historical Roman temple, one of the oldest in the Middle East and parts of it remain unharmed. Some of its preserved walls reach a height of eight meters,.