The Chouf, October 2015

The spelling "Chouf" reflects the facts that the French administered Lebanon between 1920 and 1946 and that French influence remained strong in Lebanon. "Shouf" is an alternative spelling.

The Emirs who ruled this part of Lebanon under the Ottomans had their palaces here. The biggest and most famous is Beiteddine, built for emir Bashir Shihab II between 1788 and 1818. It was closed for maintenance when we were there, so here are just two pictures taken from the outside.
The 17th-century palace of emir Fakhr-el-Dine.
The 17th-century palace of emir Younes.
This imposing building, called "Moussa Castle", is a sort of modern folly, built since 1962 by a man named Moussa Abdel Karim Al Maamari who had the ambition to build a castle. He did most of the building work himself.
A forest of the famous Cedars of Lebanon is in the Chouf.