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Bikfayya Overview

Summer visitors come to Bikfaya for its healthy climate and many springs, notably the one at An-Naas, long famed for its curative powers. Bikfaya is also a good place to look for the pleasant spring side restaurants so prized by Lebanese. In late summer an annual festival of flowers and agriculture takes place here as well.

Mar Abda Cathedral

A very old town, among its monuments is the Church of Mar Abda, built in 1587. Other important buildings were added in the 19th century, a time of prosperity under the Abillama Emirs. These include the residence of the Jesuit fathers, begun in 1833, and the Church of Saydet An-Najat (Our lady of Deliverance). The church is interesting for its imported reproduction of a 17th century Italian statue of the Virgin.


Bikfaya's early 19th century serail, which originally belonged to the Abillama Emirs, became residence during the 1980's. The Gemayel house, built in the traditional Lebanese style, was begun in the 16th century and added onto over the next 200 years.

On a high hill above Bikfaya is Deir Mar Elias Chwayya, a complex of two monasteries, one Maronite and one Greek Orthodox. The beautiful little church, built in 1590, has an 18th century Romanian altar screen. Ask to see the recently discovered 8th century stone chapel beneath the monastery.

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