Bsharri, Lebanon

Bsharri (also spelled Becharre, Bcharre, Bsharre), is a Lebanese city at 1,650 m of altitude, near the Kadisha Valley. It is located in the Bsharri District of the North Governorate. Bsharri is just under the Cedar forest and is the birthplace of the famous poet, painter and sculptor [Gibran] Khalil Gibran.

Bsharri was the site of a Phoenician settlement in ancient times. Maronite Christians fleeing persecution sought refuge in its mountainous terrain in the 7th Century AD. The Kadisha Valley, below the town, became the spiritual center of the Maronite Church. The town was known as Buissera by the Crusades.

In Lebanon, Bsharri natives are characterized as very courageous and fiercely feudal. They are especially known for their distinct accent when they speak Arabic. Unlike other parts of Lebanon, Aramaic was spoken in Bsharri well into the 1800s. As a result, Bsharri natives developed an unmistakably strong accent which lasts to this day and which they are very proud of.

Today, the village is located in a highly touristic zone including such attractions as the Gibran Tomb and Museum, Kadisha Valley, the Kadisha Grotto, the Cedars of God forest, a ski resort and Bka’kafra (the birthplace of St Charbel).

Bsharri is home to a Lebanese Red Cross First Aid Center