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Panoramic Views > North > Zgharta > Lake Bnechaai

Lake Bnechaai

Here we are in North Lebanon, in the caza (district) of Zghorta, whose occupants occupy two towns at the same time, Ehden and Zghorta, the former during the summer and the latter during the winter. At the beginning of the twentieth century there was a similar situation further South: Jbeil (Byblos) belonged mostly to the inhabitants of Amshit, until demographic growth completely changed the situation.

South-east of Zghorta, half-way coming from Ehden, there is a most delightful spot, at an altitude of 450 meters (nearly 1,500 feet) in continuation of the mountain-tops of Dahr el Adib among others, where from various springs there gushes up water that is cold and crystal-clear. The scene is one of unspoilt beauty, with the richest environment and a great variety of plants. This is Benashi, 103km (65 miles) from Beirut and only a few minutesí drive from Ehden, import town of the district.

The name is an ancient one, of Semitic derivation, meaning the Friends. Several sarcophagi are to be found there going back to Byzantine times, stones that have been carved or engraved, some old dwellings and various ruins. During the nineteenth century, Youssef Bey Karam, the great Lebanese hero who opposed the Ottoman occupation, made it his headquarters and in 1886 in a famous battle crushed a Turkish battalion with the handful of soldiers he commanded at a moment when thousands of Ottoman troops were pursuing him.

The location disposes one to prayer; nature is at its most beautiful, indeed sublime, and a reserve has been laid out where 200,000 trees of every description have been planted, some imported Europe and others from America: firs, conifers of every description, cedars, cypresses, hairy and other kinds of oaks, junipers, olive trees and carob trees, to mention but a few.

A wide range of local and imported wildlife has been introduced, including partridges, hawks, ducks, squirrels, gazelles and hares.

In view of the abundance of water, an artificial lake has been created by the construction of a dam to hold back content.

Benashi has been transformed into a popular tourist site, with groups of visitors coming from all sides to visit the place and to take advantage of the freshness and beauty that make it so agreeable.

- Lake Bnechaai: >> View Movie << (2007-12-01)


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