There’s a massive project underway in the North of Lebanon where they are building the largest inhabitable cross in the entire world.
The cross is being built on a hilltop with an altitude of 400 m (1312 ft) above sea level in Ijdabra in the Batroun region.
The church of Mar Saba, Ijdabra owns a 50,000m piece of land that it wishes to develop into a spiritual, developmental, educational, social, touristic and environmental project.
According to their website, the project is made up of 3 parts which will make up the City of Peace:
An area dedicated to prayer and religious tourism
An area dedicated to youth camps so the youth could be aware of the importance of dialogue, peace and the love of nature. A permanent center will be built for that purpose.
The last area includes the forest and will be dedicated to rest, relaxation and walkabouts.
This area will be a haven mainly the less fortunate families as well as to everyone wanting to spend the holidays participating in sporting, recreational and environment-friendly events.
The cross itself is 60 meters high and includes a small church in one of the crossbars. Its galleries will offer an incredible view over the sea and mountains. It will also be equipped with an elevator and the church will be able to accommodate roughly 60 people.
The project is expected to create economic returns and offer plenty of job opportunities which will help the inhabitants of Batroun remain in their land – rather than leaving for the city or going abroad.
The Ijadbra Cross website cites these 5 objectives of the project:
Spiritual: Not only is the cross a tourist attraction, it is also an oasis for meditation, prayer and reunion with God.
Psychological: The outstretched cross provides a feeling of serenity and inner peace for the restless soul that is worried about its own existence.
Economical: Being one of a kind in its shape and message not only in the East but throughout the world, this project is expected to attract thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. Thus, it will crown the Road of Saints and create many jobs in the Batroun region hence limiting emigration.
Social: The cross in its horizontal and vertical dimensions is in its essence a symbol of the connection between God and men on the one hand and between men among each other on the other, no matter their race, religious beliefs or social status. The cross is an invitation for love, reconciliation and coexistence.
Environmental: The cross built on the mountaintop will limit the concrete invasion destroying “Green Lebanon” and offer a gorgeous natural resort for anyone seeking rest and relaxation.
The actual construction of the cross is almost complete: