- Chouf Mountains, 50km southeast of Beirut
- tel, info: 05 500 077
- full LL7500.00, child LL5000.00
- Apr-Oct: Tue-Sun 09:00-18:00; Nov-May: 09:00-15:45
Lonely Planet review for Beiteddine Palace
Beiteddine (House of Faith) is the name of both the village and the magnificent palace complex that lies within. The palace, perched on a steep elevation, rises from the surrounding landscape like a fairytale vision, a Scheherazadean delight rendered with Italianate flair (in fact, the architects were Italian).
Work began on the palace in 1788 but wasn't completed for another 30 years, during which time Emir Bashir, the Ottoman-appointed governor, oversaw the building of a monument that would reflect the power and glory of his reign.
Visitors to Beiteddine have to be grateful for the Ottoman's streak of egomania. The result is one of the finest remaining examples of 19th-century Lebanese architecture, one even the Israeli invasion could not destroy (although it is estimated that 90% of the palace's rare and precious contents were lost). Its grand dimensions encompass three main courtyards, huge vaulted stables, small museums, guest apartments, water fountains, marble portals and marquetry, and luxuriously decorated and domed hammams (bathhouses).
It also has a collection of beautiful Byzantine mosaics. Many were excavated from the ancient city of Porphyrion and kept for safe-keeping at Beiteddine throughout the war. It is thought to be one of the most spectacular mosaic collections in the eastern Mediterranean, if not the world.