Balamand Monastery


Situated eighty km north of Beirut on a plateau overlooking the blue Mediterranean  lies Balamand Monastery, where ten centuries of endeavor to learn and teach have flourished. It is on this ancient site that the Cistercian monks built Balamand Abbey in 1157 A.D. on existing Byzantine ruins after the failure of the second crusade.

The Cistercians abandoned the Monastery of Balamand before the capture of Tripoli by the Mamlouk Sultan Qalwan. Three  hundred years after the departure of the Crusaders, Greek Orthodox monks took possession of the monastery.

The monastery began with a group of ten monks and soon increased to twenty five. In parallel to their life of prayer, the monks cultivated the soil, wrote and copies manuscripts and hosted guests who sought refuge in difficult times.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the monastery acquired estates in the whole region of Koura (North Lebanon) and Tripoli (the Capital of North Lebanon). It became an important center for agricultural production.

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