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Panoramic Views > Mount Lebanon > Kesserwan > Dlebta


The name of the town comes from the Arabic Dulbeta or Dulbeh, the plane tree, the scientific name of which is Platanus orientalis. The plane tree is common enough in such a mountainous region abounding in little springs of water around which the trees grow. The sources around Dlebta give rise to fast-flowing streams from which water is collected in basins hewn out of the hard ground, to be used for domestic consumption and for irrigation. Thus it is that the region is verdant and abounding in fruit trees, market gardens and woodland. Olive trees, mulberry trees, vines and many other kinds of tree and bush are cultivated in the groves and orchards.

Dlebta, plunged in verdure, lies at nearly 2,500 feet above sea level at the bottom of a valley between the two projecting arms of the hills of Aramoun on the north side and Maarab on the south side, nestling with its rich greenery and abundant streams as between the two arms of a chair. From this vantage point one has a splendid view looking down to the sea at Maameltein and a wonderful all-round panorama which is the delight of sightseers and photographers. The village has the satisfaction of self-sufficiency, with its people themselves producing all the food they need and selling the surplus elsewhere.

Dlebta is a typical Lebanese village, one might specify a village of believers. Its houses have red-tiled roofs and thick walls like those of a monastery or church of pilgrimage, rather than those of ordinary habitations. It is true that, lying deep in a valley in the Lebanon range, it does not receive the caress of the first beams of the morning sun. But after nine or ten o’clock the ranks of dwellings are bathed progressively by the luminous rays of our star. In the evenings the clouds embracing the sun over the horizon of the sea offer sweeping visions of blazing splendor.

Several fountains and springs keep the village amply supplied with water. The population comprises a Lebanese elite of members of parliament, ministers, company directors, doctors, attorneys and bankers, as well as skilled artisans and technicians. Influential Lebanese families have come from Dlebta such as the Raphaels, the Dibs. the Hattoums, and the Nasrs. It has given the Church many priests, monks and nuns.

There are two routes leading to Dlebta. One can go up from thr coastal highroad through Ghazir, Aramoun, Our Lady of the Fields or Muzar and so to Dlebta, or one can follow the road through Ghosta and Maarab to Dlebta.

Dlebta is truly picturesque, enhance by several churches. There is St. James’ and there is Our Lady of the Fields, which is under the care of nuns and is a place where groups come for a religious retreat and for prayer. There is a Trappist monastery now occupied by Cistercian monks devoting themselves to agriculture, the raising of livestock, and the production of cheese and other dairy products. They lead an ascetic life, never eat meat and chant the holy office and other monastic prayers. Of particular note is a modern architectural cluster dedicated to the Holy Virgin and used on important occasions.

Dlebta has all the infrastructure of a modern municipality, with telephone service, electricity, running water, town council, public library, restaurants, a club, and sporting and cultural activities.

Surrounded by mountain slopes and splendid scenery, Dlebta is only about twenty miles from Beirut and seven from the important center of Ghazir. A pilgrimage there takes one into an enchanted world and it is well worth a visit.

Joseph Matar - Translation from the French: Kenneth J. Mortimer

- Our Lady of Fields: >> View Movie << (2013-11-15)
- Church Saint Jacques: >> View Movie << (2013-12-01)


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