Monastery of St. Peter & Paul, Qattine, is located on a beautiful hill overlooking the surrounding hills, valleys and mountains. The establishment of the monastery was synchronous with the Christian presence in Jezzine. The monastery was founded by Bishop Gabriel Awad and was then given to the Antonine Order on March 1, 1761. Bishop Awad purchased the estate and endowments of the monastery, and built wooden houses in it and a small wooden church north of the current monastery. The monastery was inhabited by monks who followed him and were known as the Worshipping Monks, and they built another separate monastery for nuns. The monks took care of the monastery’s livelihood, which at the time was half of Qattine farms, located on some of Qaituli and Qattine lands, in a place called "The River Island". The monks partnered with the feudal landlords who were the original landowners, and then brought Christian families from North and Mount Lebanon to the South after the Ain Dara Battle in 1711. In 1756, Bishop Semaan Awad ordained Priest Sarkis Awad as Pastor in the Antonine Order. Pastor Sarkis intercepted with Bishop Gabriel Awwad to handover the monastery in Qattine to the Antonine Order. The monastery and its property were granted with the knowledge and endorsement of the bishop's partner, Sheikh Fares Jumblatt, who agreed in 1758 to transfer the title deed from the bishop to the monks of the St. Isaiah compound, after receiving the rest of the price.
Glowing with spiritual significance, the Monastery was built in 1732 by Maronite Patriarch Semaan Awad el Hasrouni. Explore the beautiful architecture of the site that was once called “Monastery of Our Lady of the Shouf” that reflected its importance in the geographical area. In the past it was destroyed by earthquakes twice and partly burned down during the 1860 war, yet the monastery continued to rise back to its splendor. The site also serves as a school since 1924 and features a museum of items directly linked to monastic life in the past years.
In the village of Karkha, a very impressive pilgrimage site, where Saint John the Baptist is said to have once lived and spread the Christian faith among inhabitants of the region, awaits your visit. You will be impressed by the majestic 300 year-old oak tree under which you can take a rest and meditate for a moment. Stairs will lead you down to the entrance of the Saint John the Baptist’s grotto in which a stone vessel used to fill with holy water on the 24th of June (Saint John’s day) of every year. Take a moment to connect your thoughts with the energy of the place.
Meticulously sculpted by Youssef Ghossoub, the Statue of the Virgin Mary stands at the west entrance of Jezzine overlooking the villages of Bkassine, Wadi Jezzine, the Bkassine Pine Forest and the waterfall. It’s religious significance and cultural icon has become a key point in the region with vast natural landscapes surrounding it. In her hand, the Virgin Mary holds the key to the town of Jezzine. The view from there is fantastic and it is a great spot to take panoramic pictures.
Explore the byzantine architecture of the Church of Saint John the Baptist. With a vault inside that is seen as a masterpiece of the region’s traditional architecture, the church has been a long-lasting discussion of its true birth. The village elders believed it was built in 1555 while a sign on the door dates the construction 200 years after that. Others say the original church was situated a hundred meters away from the present one, and that it was built in 1536. The church once contained a cross, chandeliers and lanterns that are said to have been a present from Napoleon himself and has been used for their baptisms, weddings, and burials.
The shrine of the Prophet Micah sits at the top of a hill in Benwati from where you could enjoy a gorgeous 360° view of Jezzine and the Chouf areas. Take the detour and wonder around the shrine as they are believed to have been established, in dedication to Prophet Micah’s wife, after the death of Alexander the Great by Jewish populations fleeing the persecution of the Seleucids. Other shrines dedicated to prophets were trigged on other mountains’ peaks.
The monastery was built in Bhannine Farm in the name of the Savior, after a general assembly held by the Order on 10 March 1863, during Father Ephram Geagea’s era. On 17 March 1903, during General Father Naamtallah Al-Kaddoum’s era, and after the approval of Patriarch Elias Howayek, the establishment of a monastery in the name of Saint Takla was planned in the Shqadif – Raimat region. However, it soon joined the Savior’s Monastery in Bhannine. The basements of the ground floor in the Savior’s Monastery are ancient, while the present church dates back to 1897. Renovation of the current monastery and the upper floor dates back to the period between 1938 and 1940.
First built in 1732, the church was completely destroyed by the 1759 earthquake that also destroyed all of Jezzine’s houses. It was rebuilt thereafter only to be destroyed again by fire in 1845 during the uprising of that year. The Mutasarrifate of 1860-1918 then established Jezzine as the capital of the Caza and the siege of the Qaymaqam and the town flourished. The church was rebuilt in 1868 and it is said that when the construction reached the ceiling level, the inhabitants made a 2km chain to pass stones from the stone quarry to the church, to be handed down to the builders.
Built in 1909 where a majority of art and beauty was carried out by the famous Asaad al-Khuraiti. The breathtaking architecture is built on twenty-four columns with a stone dome in the shape of a cross wherean artistic taste is reflected in the alters,bells, windows, and sacraments. It is considered as one of the most beautiful churches in Lebanon.