Aleppo’s strategic position meant it has been used as a meeting point and trade link between Mesopotamia, the fertile crescent ...
Beiteddine is a small town 50km southeast of Beirut, famous for its magnificent Beiteddine Palace. Building of the palace started in 1788 by local general Bashir Chehab II who was later appointed to rule Mount Lebanon. The palace was built on the site of the Druze hermitage, an esoteric, monotheistic religious community found in the Middle East, hence the town’s name translating as ‘House of Faith’.
The Beiteddine Palace took 30 years to complete and was worked on by the best craftsmen from Damascus and Aleppo along with Italian architects. As a result, the style of the palace is a cross between traditional Arab and Italian baroque. Since its completion, the palace has been used as a government building by the Ottomans, a local administrative office during the French Mandate, and the official summer residence of the first Lebanese president.
The palace was declared a national monument in 1934 and is now home to an annual summer festival which was established in 1984 with local artistic performances. The festival gradually started featuring regional and international performances including concerts and performances of classical music, dance, theatre, opera, jazz and modern world music.