(132 km from
Beirut) - Rock-Cut Monastery
the Qadisha valley is the cave monastery and church of Mar Antonios Qouzhayya.
One of the largest monasteries in the valley, it has been in continuous
use since the early Middle Ages. In the cave of saint Antoine near the
entrance you can see the chains that were used to hold victims of insanity
in an attempt to cure them. The facade of the church is manmade but the
interior is fashioned from a natural cave with carved niches.
In the 16th-17th centuries the monks of Qouzhayya imported
Lebanon's first printing presses which were used to print the Psalms in
Syriac. A later press, purchased in 1871, can be seen in a museum which
also houses a collection of sacred and ethnographic objects. At the
entrance to the museum a shop sells books and religious souvenirs.