Syriac origin, "Deir Sahro", meaning "the convent of the moon" (arabized towards the 9th century)

To stroll around Deir el-Qamar in the Shouf region is to admire the pride of the monuments of the city of the emirs and contemplate the Lebanon of yesteryear from one of the most beautiful squares in the Middle East. Surrounded by historic palaces and decorated with a typical 19th century fountain, the Midane is a place steeped in history, culture and music. The small paved alleys lined with old Lebanese houses accentuate the picturesque charm of this village.
Former capital of the principality of Mount Lebanon, the village of Deir el-Qamar is a site classified as national historic monument since 1945 and nominated, with the valley and palaces of Beiteddine as well as the cedars of Barouk, for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Must-do things
Architectural Heritage
  • The Midane or the central square and its typical fountain of the 19th century and the statue of Camille Chamoun, 2nd president of the Lebanese Republic from 1952 to 1958
  • The palace of Fakhreddine II built by the emir in 1618 and of which only the stables and the first floor remain
  • The palace of Younes Maan, the brother of Fakhreddine
  • The seraglio of Ahmad Chehab, built in the 18th century (ground floor) then in the 19th century (first and second floor)
  • The great seraglio, dating from the 18th century
  • The residence of Nicolas Turk, a small palace donated in 1805 by Bashir II to the poet Nicolas Turk
  • The Marie Baz museum, a palace built in the 16th century by Fakhreddine II
  • The Fakhreddine mosque with its octagonal minaret, the oldest mosque of Mount Lebanon, built in 1493
  • The oldest synagogue of Mount Lebanon, built in the 17th century by Emir Fakhreddine II
  • The miraculous church of Saidet el-Tall, built in the 17th century, with the stele of the 1860’s martyrs
  • The typical stone houses
  • The small paved alleys meandering the village
  • On the hill (1000m) above Deir el-Qamar is the sanctuary of the Cross with the chapel of Bouna Yaaqoub erected by the latter on September 13, 1932 on the site of the cemetery of the 1860’s martyrs. The feast of the cross is celebrated on this site, on September 14, which offers a breathtaking panorama
Natural Heritage
  • The terraces of the valley of Deir el-Qamar, dotted with typical houses and extending to Maasser Beiteddine and Beiteddine
  • North of Deir el-Qamar, the panorama of the valley of Wadi Jerbane
  • South of Deir el-Qamar, the panorama on Baaqline and the valley of Deir Dourit
Cultural Heritage
  • The international festival of Deir el-Qamar, “Les estivales de Deir el-Qamar”, from mid-July to mid-September
  • Marie Baz wax museum
  • The lively Midane with its cafes
  • Local culinary specialties: Goat’s labneh “Ambaris”; Tabbouleh bi Dehn (tabbouleh seasoned with fat); Makhlouta bi Kechek (lentil soup, beans, rice and Kechek – cracked wheat and goat’s yogurt)
Where To Eat
  • Deir el-Omara: a good Lebanese cuisine with a touch of creativity in a former convent converted into a hotel, at the entrance of the village of Deir el-Qamar.
Nearby sites and villages