- Casa: Jbail
- Distance from Beirut: 54-67 km
- Altitude: 500-750 m
- Access: Jbail – Amchit – Gharfine – Ghalboun- Bejjeh
Or Jbail – Hbeline – Hakel – Bejje
The town’s name (in English, “gardens”) is derived from the Syriac language. Bagge and bagga refer to an area rich in water, and the word pagge refers to figs. In Syria, in the Horan area, there is also a village named Bejjeh, and the original inhabitants of the Lebanese village may have come from there. During the Phoenician period, it was known as a “hunting zone”. According to ancient heritage, the native inhabitants came from Syria via Qobayyat and Yanouh. The great number of families who left to live in coastal cities is known as “Bijjabi” families.
Bejjeh is located on the side of a small spring, and includes the region of Dahr Sarya which was once the center of the old town. There are a number of sarcophagi and some ancient wells next to the churches of Saydet Al Mazraa (Our Lady of the Farm) and Mar Saba. These sarcophagi are all that remains from an ancient monastery built on the ruins of a Phoenician temple. There are also the remnants of another church tracking to the early Christian era, as well as an old cave known as Chmeis Al Kolayaa. There are also some must-see religious sites: Mar Abda church and Saint Elizeh’s tomb dug in the rocks.
There are 11 old churches here. They are normally closed, but one can get the key from the neighbors or persons in charge.
- Saydet Al Mazraa (Our Lady of the Farm):
1000 A.D; a small church built over Roman remains, with an arched porch. Unfortunately, some illegal drilling and excavations still take place around the site. It is surrounded by old oak trees and is a great location for panoramic views. A blue statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus is installed above the door of this old, white stone church. The key is with the endowment committee of Bejjeh.
Contact Father Pierre Khoury (78/ 841 245)
- Saydet el Najat Church (Our Lady of Deliverance):
1877 A.D. This church with yellow stones has three semi-circular stone steps that lead you to its red iron door.
For the key, contact Mr. Joseph Emile Saadeh (03/ 414 456)
- Mar Elias Church (St. Elie): A medium-size clinkstone building.
- Saydet El Entikal Harcha Church (Our Lady of Assumptiona Harcha) : 1954 AD. A small cement church surrounded by oak trees.
For the key, contact Mr. Joseph El Hajj (03/255 616)
- Mar Abda Church (St. Abdon):
1771 A.D. This church is located on the border of Ain Kfaa village. It is said that these are the remains of an old monastery.
- Mar Sarkis Wa Bakhos Church (Sts Sergius & Bacchus):
1927 A.D Located in the main village, it has an unusual structure because it is not supported by internal pillars and arches despite its size. It is the main village church, where all important ceremonies and regular Masses are celebrated. This yellow stone church has a big new door surrounded by epigraphs, a red roof, and stained glass windows.
For the key, contact Mrs. Isabelle Hayek (76/439 298 – 09/770 428)
- Mar Saba Church (St. Sabbas):
This church was ruined with two other old houses (most of the stones were used to build new houses)
- Mar Sarkis wa Bakhos Church:
It is a stone church with a red roof, located in the Al Mhammara neighborhood. Elderly villagers have said that it is older than the parish church.
For the key, contact Ms. Benoitte Souaibi (09/770 041 or 03/296 157)
- El Qeddisseh Theresa Church (St. Theresa):
1963 A.D. Built with small rectangular yellow stones, and surrounded by trees. From here you can enjoy the amazing views of Bejjeh village, on the right side, and Beit Habbak, Ramout, and Obeidat, on the left side.
- Mar Youssef Church (St. Joseph):
1858 A.D It is built with small grey stones and surrounded by olive trees. What distinguishes it from other churches is not the building but the breathtaking view from the front of the building: a combination of green hills, traditional, red-roofed Lebanese houses, and dark blue sea, adding calm and glamour. The key is kept by the endowment committee of Bejjeh.
For the key, contact Father Pierre Khoury (78/841 245)
- Mar Elishaa’ church (St. Elisha): built on the rocky slope of Al Ma’sieh area.
- Shmeis Al Qalaa cave: Local tradition says that a fortress was built on this site.
- Al A’araj cave:
Traditions said that Christians used to hide in this cave during the persecutions
- Oasis des Status (Wahat Al Tamassyl):
Workshop and house of the deceased famous Lebanese sculptor Halim El Hajj. Contact Mrs. Rosa El Hajj (09/770 392)
Local cultivation: vegetables, figs, grapes, olive trees, almonds.
Local production: Honey, Arak, wine, jams, olive products (olive, oil, soap), raisins, pomegranate molasses, sour grapes.
Ms. Fadia Souaiby: (70/393 065) Drawing on wood workshops, homemade products (jams, orange blossom)
Ms. Rita Chahine: 71/570 472
Mrs. Zahar Souaiby: (019 770 / 09) Information about wild herbs suitable for salads and cooking, jams, mini-market, Internet access
Mrs. Anisa Khalife: 09/770 309
Ms. Mary Abi Akl: 09/770 400
Ms. Benoitte Souaiby: (09/770 041 – 03/296 157) Saj, jams, olive production, information about wild herbs suitable for salads and cooking.
Mrs. Hala Al Hajj (09/770 358 – 03/ 184 690) Introduction to arak production & olive picking
- Walking trails that links Bejjeh with Ain Kfaa: Ms. Rita Chahine (71/570 472)
- Guided visit to an olive press:
Dr. Elias Hares AlHayek & Mrs. Colette Hayek (03/736 627)
- Guided visit to a winery: Hani Khalife (70/397 598)
- Guided visit to an arak production area and tasting:
(An evening spent beside the karki) Ms. Fadia Souaiby (70/ 393 065)
- Guided tour to an old Lebanese Traditional House:
Ms. Fadia Souaiby (70/ 393 065)
- Artistic workshop of wood drawings: Miss Fadia Souaiby (70/393 065)
- Introduction tour on the production of Arak: Rola Al Hajj (03/ 982 275)
- Exhibition of the Fraternity of Our Immaculate Lady:
Mar Sarkis Wa Bakhos feast day, October 7, (exhibition, play, and celebrations for 3 days). Contact Mrs. Isabelle Hayeck (76/439 298)
Saj Benoitte: Ms. Benoitte Souaiby (03/296 157 – 09/770 041)
Snack Therese: Summer restaurant in Dahr Sarya (daily meals/ catering upon request): 03/801 787
Bakery, Snack & Mini-Market Abou Michel (Pastry upon request): 09/770 351
Bakery, Butcher shop & Mini-market El Khoury: all sorts of sandwiches and pastries (09/770 777)
Camping site next to Saydet Al Mazraa (high hills):
Permission required from Father Pierre Khoury (78/841 245)
Civil defense station: (Fire station, First aid) It is the main station for Jbail rural villages. Tel: 125 or contact Mr. Kalim El Hajj (03/982 275)
Gas station: Mr. Jihad Al Hajj (71/770 501)