The name of "Bcharré" region (in northern Lebanon) comes from the Phoenicians: they founded the village, also named Bcharré, where they used to exploit cedar wood. They called it "Beit Ishtar" or House of Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of Love and War. This goddess free from all guardianship corresponds to the identity of the Bcharré region, which today includes 26 villages about 1000 meters above sea level. Its history, steeped in a spirit of revolution and resistance, is carried by a strong people attached to its spiritual, religious, and social traditions. Here, we discover a particularly authentic facet of Lebanon.
The region of Bcharré contains a remarkable cultural heritage. It is in the village of Bcharré that the famous poet and painter Gebran Khalil Gebran was born, with worldwide (even universal) influence and whose museum, established in a former monastery, can be visited here, in an idyllic setting marked by the presence of famous cedars of God.
This region plays a huge role in the history of Christians: the Quadisha Valley, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has many hermitages dating back to the first phase of the expansion of Christianity. This valley gave shelter to the first Christians fleeing persecutions. It features numerous monasteries overlooking the cliffs, with walls hollowed out with natural caves, some decorated with frescoes, as a mark of Maronite hermitism. It is also in the region of Bcharré, precisely in the village of Beqaa Kafra, that Saint Charbel was born: this hermit monk is one of the greatest saints in Lebanon.
In Bcharré region, the Qadisha Valley is also a treasure of nature. It offers vertiginous landscapes, which never cease to fascinate foreign tourists and locals as well. You can move around on footpaths and enjoy the view and atmosphere of this valley. The region contains magnificent hiking trails, dotted with many points of interest. It is also the location of the Cedars of God : this forest invites walkers to peace and meditation.
The inhabitants of the Bcharré region are renowned for the strength of their temperament and their spirit of independence. This people, deeply attached to its religious and spiritual traditions, is driven by a fierce desire to preserve its way of life and its culture. It is renowned for its friendliness. Welcoming the visitor with generosity is, quite simply, the way of being of the inhabitants, who form a united, even tight-knit community. Mutual aid is essential, inherited from times when living conditions in this wild region were difficult.
The local cuisine particularly respects the traditions of the region. Here, more than Lebanese cuisine, we are talking about Syriac cuisine. Faithful to the products and recipes of the ancients, it is renowned for its benefits, promoting iron health for all those who consume it on a daily basis. Its dishes (often associated to specific days of the week) are composed of healthy and natural ingredients (plants, herbs, legumes, etc.), prepared according to traditional techniques, ensuring the preservation of food and nutrients. Plus, it's delicious.