Photographer's Note

Qadisha one of the deepest and most beautiful val­leys in Lebanon, is indeed a world apart. At the bottom of this Wild steep-sided gorse runs the Qadisha River whose source is in the Qadisha Grotto at the foot of the Cedars. And above the famous Cedar grove stands Qornet es Sawda, Lebanon’s highest peak. The word ‘Qadisha” comes from a Semitic root meaning ‘holy” and Wadi Qadisha is the Holy Valley.” Filled with caves and rock shel­ters inhabited from the third millennium B.C. to the Roman peri­od, the valley is scattered with cave chapels, hermitages and monasteries cut from rock. Since the Early Middle Ages genera­tions of monks, hermits, ascetics and anchorites found asylum here. These religious men, who belonged to the various confessions that grew out of medieval controversies over the nature of Christ, included the Nestorians, Monophysites, Chalcedonians and Monothelites. Even Moslem Soufis were found in this valley. They prayed in many languages: Greek. Arabic. Syriac and Ethiopian.

At the town of Tourza the valley divides into two branches, each named for a monastery there: Wadi Qozhaya leading to Ehden, and Wadi Qannoubin leading to the Cedars.

A path goes along the bottom of the valley through an area called “Bain an-Nahrain” (Between the Two Rivers) where Wadi Qannobin meets Wadi Qadisha. From here trials lead to the various sites you can also start from the top of the valley and take one of the numerous paths to the bottom.

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Additional Photos by Aleksandar Dekanski (dekanski) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 315 W: 129 N: 1279] (8247)
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