(20 km from Beirut)
Bkirke, in a forest above Jounieh, has been the winter residence of Lebanon's
Maronite Patriarch since 1830. This handsome red roofed structure in a setting of pine trees was built in 1893 around an earlier monastery founded in 1703. Above the Italianate main portal is the Patriarchate's coat of arms with Arabic, Syriac and Latin inscriptions of an Old Testament quotation: "The glory of Lebanon has been given to Him". Visitors are welcome and will be shown the courtyard, the reception halt where the Patriarch holds his audiences, a portrait gallery and the church with its columns of fossilized stone.