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Panoramic Views > Bekaa > Baalbeck > Cathedral of Fakie

Cathedral of Fakie

In the very north of the Beqaa, a plain lying in the depression between the two mountain chains of the Lebanon and the Ant-Lebanon, at 127km from Beirut close to the Lebanese-Syrian frontier, one finds a delightful village in a deep cleft, popularly known as Fakieh, but in literary Arabic as Fakiha, derived from the Arabic for fruit. The orchards are possible thanks to the water which flows down in abundance, for the Anti-Lebanon, like its twin Lebanon chain, is a veritable water tower. At this particular point the elevation of the Beqaa Valley is 1,000 meters.

Here where the western slopes of the Anti-Lebanon overlook the richly fertile plain of the Beqaa, gardens produce a generous harvest and the village has extensive orchards of apple and apricot trees, enriching Fakieh which is also renowned for the hardwearing carpets that are woven there by hand. Two religious communities inhabit the village, Greek Catholics and Sunnis, living together without any friction. The Sunnis have their mosque, while thanks to the spirit of solidarity the Christians have been able to realize their longstanding dream, building a church worthy to be a cathedral, one in the style of the Greek rite, of clear white, pleasing to the eye and blending harmoniously into the surrounding country. It is dedicated to the illustrious hero and knight Saint George, a martyr of the 3rd century who suffered under the emperor Diocletian. He is represented on horseback casting down the dragon. He is venerated by Muslims throughout the East under the name of Al Khodr the Brave! This church bearing his name was constructed in the period between the two world wars and inaugurated in 1937.

Fakieh is just 70km from Zahleh. Remains are to be found there such as the tower which served as a pigeon-loft. This distant village has a modern aspect to offer, with its school, medical centers, police and town hall, and its many graduates, doctors, engineers, architects, academic and so on. In the past a great number of the Greek Catholics emigrated to the Americas, Australia, and elsewhere.

- Cathedral of Fakieh: >> View Movie << (2008-09-01)



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