The word Qadisha comes from a Semitic
root meaning "holy" and Wadi Qadisha is the "Holy
Valley". It’s a world apart. The canyon is not far from the cedars
forest, and Bsharreh area. Filled with caves and rock shelters inhabited
from the third millennium B.C. to the Roman period, the valley is speckled
with cave chapels, hermitages and monasteries cut from rock. Since the
Early Middle Ages generations of monks, hermits, ascetics and anchorites
found asylum here. Even Moslem Sufis were found in this valley.
the 7th century it was settled by Christian monks who established in
almost unreachable limestone caves to lead frugal lives. A number of
monasteries were built in this area, the most important of which are Deir
Qannoubin, an ancient seat of the Maronite Patriarchate; Deir Qouzhayya,
site of the first printing press in the Middle East and Deir Mar Elisha,
where the Maronite Order of Lebanese Monks was founded in 1695.
The only way to explore the gorge is on foot. A slight vehicular road
descends to the bottom, but it is more fun to take one of the paths from
the villages of Tourza, Blawza, Hadchit, Hasroun and Diman. The
River, whose source is the Qadisha Grotto, runs through the valley, continuing
where it becomes the
Few years ago, the canyon became under the protection of the UNESCO,
classified as international patrimonies for the humanity.
hesitate to visit the site. Tour guides can be provided upon request.