Ballouh Baatura, or The Three Bridges Chasm in Balaa
The motorist driving from Laqlouq to Tannourine passes by the little village of Balaa, nestling between terraced apple-orchards to the right and a majestic mountain massif on the left. A long time ago there was a blue road sign there, riddled with bullet holes and twisted by the vagaries of the weather, on which was written Gouffre des Trois Ponts, The Three Bridges Chasm. Glancing both right and left, one sees nothing, nothing to indicate that one has only to go down for some five minutes into the valley below on the left to find oneself stopped, with bated breath, before the fantastic panorama presenting itself to one's eyes: three natural bridges, rising one above the other over a height of one hundred metres and overhanging the enormous mouth of a chasm plunging 250 metres deep into the bowels of Mount Lebanon! During the months of March and April, when the snows are melting, one sees a mighty 100-metre cascade which thunders and roars behind the three bridges before being swallowed up in the earth.
The cave was explored for the first time in 1962, by Lebanese speleologists or potholers, who halted 250 metres down at the level of a lake in a great terminal hall. In 1988 a test with florescent dye showed that the waters that disappeared in this gulf emerged at the spring of Dalleh in Mgharet al-Ghaouaghir, level with Kfar Hilda (Bsetine al-Assi).
Text: Dr. Hani Abdul-Nour
- Ballouh Baatura, or The Three Bridges Chasm in Balaa: >> View Movie << (2002-05-01)