Fo­cus on

Five things to do in Baskinta

Lebanon Traveler - - CONTENTS -

Baskinta is a Syr­iac word mean­ing ‘the house of wis­dom.’ With San­nine to the east, Ba­kiche and Marj to the north and Zaarour to the south, Baskinta is a ge­o­graph­i­cal fortress. Span­ning an alti­tude of 1,250 to 1,800 me­ters above sea level, it is a vil­lage over­flow­ing in nat­u­ral resources and one whose unique beauty has made it a site of in­ter­est for lovers of the out­doors.

1. TRAVEL BACK IN TIME

Rem­nants of the past are preva­lent in Baskinta, where one can find the ru­ins of mon­u­ments, ceme­ter­ies and nu­mis­mat­ics dat­ing back to the Phoeni­cian, Ro­man, and Greek ages. The pil­lars and un­der­ground pas­sages of huge palaces built by the Greeks can still be found in the mid­dle of the vil­lage.

The town also boasts a rich legacy of writers, in­clud­ing au­thor and poet Mikhail Naimy. To­gether with Khalil Gi­bran and eight other writers, Naimy formed a move­ment for the re­birth of Ara­bic lit­er­a­ture in New York at the early part of the 20th cen­tury. A mau­soleum in his honor and that of Ge­orge Ghanem, an­other cel­e­brated au­thor, can be found in the vil­lage. Vis­i­tors can also marvel at the old aban­doned fam­ily house of writer Sleiman Kat­taneh.

2. EX­PLORE THE SAYF EL DAWLA CAVE

Named af­ter the Arab leader of the Ha­madani state in 940 A.D., the ma­jes­tic Sayf El Dawla Cave is vis­i­ble from quite a dis­tance. Al­though it is not well-equipped, expert climbers will cer­tainly find it an in­ter­est­ing site to ex­plore. If you are up for the chal­lenge, be sure to take your gear along.

3. VISIT THE CON­VENT OF OUR LADY OF THE AS­SUMP­TION (SAIDET EL BISHARA)

Com­pleted in 1830, the con­vent is noth­ing short of a mas­ter­piece. Built on a Ro­man tem­ple, it is char­ac­ter­ized by yel­low petro stone and grandiose ar­cades. In some places, two or three ar­cades have been built on top of each other, a rar­ity in Le­banon. From there, con­tinue to the monastery of St. Mitri, built in 1767.

4. EN­JOY A PIC­NIC IN THE GREAT OUT­DOORS

With oak and pine forests all around, Baskinta and Marj Baskinta are beau­ti­fully ver­dant, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the sum­mer. Head to Mount San­nine for the per­fect pic­nic spot and en­joy the view of old stone houses and ap­ple or­chards. You can even try your hand at cherry and ap­ple pick­ing while you are in the area.

5. TAKE A HIKE

Baskinta is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion among the hik­ing com­mu­nity. The lit­er­ary trail of Baskinta, part of the Le­banon Mountain Trail, be­gins in Chakhroub and con­tin­ues through the woods. Hik­ers will hear the calm­ing sound of run­ning wa­ter through­out the hike as San­nine’s melt­ing snow cre­ates count­less streams. vamos-to­dos.com

Photos: Jubran Elias

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