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Panoramic Views > South > Jezzine > Bkassine

Bkassine Forest (Bkasseen Forest)

In South Lebanon, particularly in the department of Jezzeen, one may find one of the most beautiful pine forests in the Middle East. The conifers stretch as far as the eye can see, provoking the deepest emotion.

This region is situated in the Western chain of Mount Lebanon. Endless horizons of mountains and of rocky valleys follow in successive folds that reveal this proud tree the pine at its best, leaving bluish shadows pierced by the rays of the sun and carrying us away to a world like paradise.

We are at Bkasseen at a height of three thousand feet and forty-five miles from Beirut. To come here we had to follow the southern high road and turn left in the direction of Kfar Kala, Azour, Mashmousheh and Bkasseen. The village nestles almost invisible in this vast stretch of woodland.

The name is of Aramaic origin and means a place where cups are made. In a large green area one can pick out old houses roofed with red tiles along narrow streets and a central square alive with visitors and sightseers come to pass the weekend far from the noise and pollution of the large towns.

There is much that is old to be seen in Bkasseen. There is the Church of Our Lady of Deliverance built in 1855 and the Church of Saint Thecla, considered one of the most beautiful in Lebanon. Bkasseen took first prize for conserving its past in a competition organized by the National Heritage Foundation. There are old houses, olive presses, ancient bridges and mills.

Several springs water the region, Ain al-Mashtal, Ain al-Bsateen, and others, and Mount Tora adds its grace. As for the flora, this is unique, with flowers of every possible color and kind thrusting up in their thousands. There is a school, a town hall, private medical consulting rooms, and all the infrastructure of a modern town.

A weekend spent in this region is an idyll not to be missed.

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

- Bkassine Forest: >> View Movie << (2011-05-01)



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